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Spokesman for Palestinians Erekat dies

November 11, 2020 00:00:00

JERUSALEM, Nov 10 (AP): Saeb Erekat, a veteran peace negotiator and prominent international spokesman for the Palestinians for more than three decades, died on Tuesday, weeks after being infected by the coronavirus. He was 65.

The American-educated Erekat was involved in nearly every round of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians going back to the landmark Madrid conference in 1991. Over the years, he was a constant media presence. He tirelessly argued for a negotiated two-state solution to the decades-old conflict, defended the Palestinian leadership and blamed Israel - particularly hard-line leader Benjamin Netanyahu - for the failure to reach an agreement.

As a loyal aide to Palestinian leaders - first Yasser Arafat and then Mahmoud Abbas - Erekat clung to this strategy until his death, even as hopes for Palestinian statehood sank to new lows.

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