Palestinians hold memorial service for renowned negotiator Erekat
A memorial service has been held for long-time, senior Palestinian official and peace negotiator, Saeb Erekat, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, one day after the veteran politician passed away.
President Mahmoud Abbas participated in the ceremony which was held on Wednesday at the Palestinian Presidential Complex, which is commonly known by the Arabic word Muqata’a.
Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, many members of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Central Committee of Fatah movement, in addition to members of his family were also in attendance.
During the memorial ceremony, the officials watched as two soldiers laid a wreath over the coffin draped in a beautiful Palestinian flag, while Palestine’s national anthem was playing.
Subsequently, Erekat’s funeral convoy departed the presidential compound and drove to his hometown Ariha (Jericho), in which his body will be carried in procession to a small town mosque for prayers.
Additionally, a military ceremony is expected to lead the procession to a nearby cemetery.
The Palestinian president has declared a three-day mourning period for Erekat’s death, with flags of the country flown at half-mast.
“The departure of our brother and friend, the great fighter, Dr. Saeb Erekat, represents a huge loss for Palestine and our people, and we feel deeply saddened by his passing, especially in light of these difficult circumstances facing the Palestinian cause,” Abbas remarked on Tuesday in an official statement.
Erekat, who passionately supported the establishment of an independent Palestinian state as a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian dsipute, passed away at the age of 65 on Tuesday at a hospital in occupied Jerusalem al-Quds. His death was attributed to COVID-19.
He was admitted in critical condition with COVID-19 on October 18, and was in need of immediate ventilation.