Palestinian official Erekat undergoes bronchostomy

JERUSALEM (AP) — A doctor treating Palestinian official Saeb Erekat for COVID-19 performed a bronchostomy on Wednesday to examine the condition of his respiratory system, his daughter said.

Salam Erekat said on Twitter that her father remained intubated and connected to an ECMO machine, which does the work of the lungs by transferring oxygen into blood.

She said it would take several days to get the results. “Hopefully things will take a better way. Pray for my father,” said Salam Erekat, who herself is a physician.

Erekat, 65, was transferred Sunday from the West Bank to Israel’s Hadassah Medical Center.

The hospital has said he is in critical but stable condition, and that its medical team is consulting with experts around the world to deal with the case. It says Erekat’s case is especially complicated given his history of health issues, including a lung transplant in 2017.

Erekat, 65, has been one of the Palestinians’ most recognizable faces over the past several decades, serving as a senior negotiator in talks with Israel and making frequent media appearances. He was also a senior adviser to late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and current President Mahmoud Abbas.

He was hospitalized Sunday at Hadassah despite the Palestinian leadership’s decision earlier this year to sever ties with Israel over plans to begin annexing parts of the occupied West Bank as part of President Donald Trump’s Mideast plan. Israel has since frozen the annexation plan.

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