Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C) praying near the coffin of late Palestinian politician and diplomat Saeb Erekat, during an official funeral procession at the Palestinian Presidential headquarter in the West Bank city of Ramallah
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C) praying near the coffin of late Palestinian politician and diplomat Saeb Erekat, during an official funeral procession at the Palestinian Presidential headquarter in the West Bank city of Ramallah
Photo: EPA
Senior Palestinian diplomat Saeb Erekat who died from COVID on Tuesday

PLO's Saeb Erekat laid to rest with military honors

The veteran Palestinian diplomat was buried at Jericho's palm tree-lined cemetery, in ceremony attended by hundreds of mourners waving Palestinian flags and chanting, on day marking the 16th anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat

Reuters |
Published: 11.11.20 , 16:33
As the sun began to set over his home city of Jericho, veteran Palestinian peacemaker Saeb Erekat was laid to rest on Wednesday after a memorial ceremony and funeral attended by hundreds.
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  • Erekat, 65, died on Tuesday at Jerusalem's Hadassah Ein Karem Medical Center, where he was treated for the last three weeks after contracting coronavirus.
    סאיב עריקאתסאיב עריקאת
    Senior Palestinian diplomat Saeb Erekat who died from COVID on Tuesday
    (Photo: Reuters)
    "To all the Palestinian people, my father is also your father and the father of the Palestinian cause," his daughter, Dr. Salam Erekat said by his graveside in the Jordan Valley, her voice breaking into tears.
    A long-serving member of the nationalist party Fatah, Erekat was secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization and a confidant and adviser to its former leader Yasser Arafat and his successor, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C) praying near the coffin of late Palestinian politician and diplomat Saeb Erekat, during an official funeral procession at the Palestinian Presidential headquarter in the West Bank city of Ramallah Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C) praying near the coffin of late Palestinian politician and diplomat Saeb Erekat, during an official funeral procession at the Palestinian Presidential headquarter in the West Bank city of Ramallah
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C) praying near the coffin Saeb Erekat, during an official funeral procession at the Palestinian Presidential headquarter in the West Bank city of Ramallah
    (Photo: EPA)
    Erekat led the Palestinians in peace talks with Israel for many years until negotiations collapsed in 2014. In the final year of his life he was the main public face of Palestinian opposition to U.S. President Donald Trump's blueprint for the Middle East, which would leave Israel in control of large parts of the West Bank where Palestinians want a state.

    Presidental ceremony

    Erekat's memorial took place on the anniversary of Arafat's death in 2004, marked in a separate ceremony earlier in the day.
    In Ramallah, a procession of Palestinian soldiers carried Erekat's coffin through an outdoor plaza in Abbas's presidential compound. A military honor guard laid a wreath over his coffin. Abbas and other senior officials waved goodbye as the body was driven to Jericho for burial.
    Palestinian honor guard and the two sons of late Palestinian politician and diplomat Saeb Erekat carry his coffin during funeral in the West Bank city of Jericho Palestinian honor guard and the two sons of late Palestinian politician and diplomat Saeb Erekat carry his coffin during funeral in the West Bank city of Jericho
    Palestinian honor guard and the two sons of late Palestinian politician and diplomat Saeb Erekat carry his coffin during the funeral in the West Bank city of Jericho
    (Photo: EPA)
    A large crowd gathered outside Erekat's Jericho home as his coffin was carried inside and his family privately bade him farewell.
    Hundreds of mourners waving Palestinian flags and chanting "God is greatest" later joined in the funeral as he was buried in a palm tree-lined cemetery. Soldiers fired a rifle salute as a prayer was recited over the grave.

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