Top Palestinian official Erekat dies of Covid-19: presidency
The UK and US-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.
He famously showed up draped in a black-and-white checkered keffiyeh, a symbol of Palestinian nationalism.
Over the next few decades Erekat was a constant presence in Western media, calling for a two-state solution and defending the Palestinian leadership.
He was in charge of Palestinian negotiating teams with Israel since the Oslo Accords.
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His Fatah Party announced his death in a statement. A relative and a Palestinian official confirmed he passed away, speaking on condition of anonymity out of privacy concerns.
He was born in Abu Dis, a East Jerusalem neighbourhood, in 1955 and earned a PhD from Bradford University before returning to the Palestinian Territories to teach at a West Bank university.
Erekat was a controversial figure in Palestinian politics and had numerous run-ins with PLO head Yasser Arafat and President Mahmoud Abbas.
In 2006, he was selected as a Jericho representative for the Palestinian parliament despite Hamas winning the seat.
In his final years, Erekat suffered numerous health issues, including a lung transplant.