* Former Minister of Local Government for the Palestinian Authority
* Fabricated tales of Israeli atrocities, while failing to condemn Palestinian terrorism
* Died on November 10, 2020
Saeb Erekat was a Palestinian Authority Minister of Local Government who was the chief Palestinian negotiator in peace talks with Israel after the Oslo accord was signed in 1995. Representing Fatah, Erekat was elected to his ministerial post on the Palestinian Legislative Council in 1996.
Born in Jerusalem in 1955, Erekat obtained his masters degree in political science from San Francisco State University, and his doctorate in peace studies from Bradford University in England. He later taught political science at the An-Najah University in Nablus, and worked for a dozen years on the editorial board of the Palestinian daily newspaper Al-Quds.
The partisan Erekat obstinately refused to condemn Palestinian terrorism or to acknowledge Israel’s legitimate right to self-defense. Moreover, he publicly told monstrous lies about alleged Israeli atrocities, further poisoning an already tense atmosphere. For instance, he referred to one targeted Israeli missile strike against suspected Palestinian terrorists as “the most disproportionate use of force in history . . . a crime.” In 2002 he charged that Israeli forces had “massacred” 500 Palestinians in Jenin – a claim that was subsequently proven false. In April 2003, when U.S. forces in Iraq captured the fugitive terrorist Abu Abbas – who in 1985 had hijacked an Italian ship and murdered an elderly American Jew named Leon Klinghoffer – Erekat asked the U.S. to release Abbas, claiming that Klinghoffer’s murderer was protected by a 1995 agreement (signed by Bill Clinton) granting amnesty to fighters for “Palestinian independence.”
Erekat died on November 10, 2020 in Jerusalem.