|Member of the Palestinian Parliament
20 January 1996 – In Office
April 28, 1955 |
Abu Dis, West Bank
|Children||Salam, Dalal, Ali, Mohammad|
|Alma mater||San Francisco State University|
Saeb Muhammad Salih Erekat (also Erikat or Erakat or Arekat; Arabic: صائب عريقات Ṣāʼib ʻUrayqāt or ʻRēqāt; born April 28, 1955) was the Palestinian chief of the PLO Steering and Monitoring Committee until 12 February 2011. He negotiated the Oslo Accords with Israel and remained chief negotiator from 1995 until May 2003, when he resigned in protest from the Palestinian government. He later reconciled with the party and was reappointed to the post in September 2003.
Personal life and education
Saeb Erekat was born on April 28, 1955 in Jericho or Abu Dis, then under Jordanian occupation. Erekat is one of seven children, with his brothers and sisters living outside of Israel or the Palestinian territories. Erekat received a BA and MA in political science at San Francisco State University in the United States, and completed his Ph.D. in peace and conflict studies at Bradford University in England. He is married and is father of twin daughters and two sons.
After gaining his doctorate in peace studies at Bradford, Erekat returned to the West Bank town of Nablus to lecture in political science at An-Najah National University and also served for 12 years on the editorial board of the widely circulated Palestinian newspaper, Al-Quds.
In 1991, Erekat was deputy head of the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid Conference and the subsequent follow-up talks in Washington between 1992 and 1993. Later, in 1994, he was appointed the Minister for Local Government for the Palestinian National Authority and also the Chairman of the Palestinian negotiation delegation. In 1995, Erekat served as Chief Negotiator for the Palestinians during the Oslo period. He was then elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council in 1996, representing Jericho. As a politician, Erekat was considered to be a Yasser Arafat loyalist. including the Camp David meetings in 2000 and the negotiations at Taba in 2001. Erekat was also, along with Arafat and Faisal Husseini, one of the three high-ranking Palestinians who asked Ariel Sharon not to visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque in September 2000, an event which Palestinians claim sparked off the Second Intifada. He also acted as Yasser Arafat's English interpreter. When Mahmoud Abbas was nominated to serve as Prime Minister of the Palestinian Legislative Council in early 2003, Erekat was slated to be Minister of Negotiations in the new cabinet, but he soon resigned after he was excluded from a delegation to meet Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. This was interpreted as part of an internal Palestinian power struggle between Abbas and Arafat. Erekat was later reappointed to his post and participated in the 2007 Annapolis Conference, where he took over from Ahmed Qurei during an impasse and helped hammer out a joint declaration.
Erekat is one of the more prominent Palestinian spokespeople in the Western media. During the Second Intifada, he loudly criticized Israeli actions and together with other sources characterized the IDF's 2002 assault in the Palestinian town of Jenin as a "massacre" and a "war crime", alleging that Israel has killed more than 500 Palestinians in the Jenin refugee camp. After the incident was over and the Palestinian death toll was recorded at between 53 and 56 casualties, Erekat faced widespread criticism.
- John Pike (1955-04-28). "Saeb Erekat". Globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
- 'Politics in Palestine', Palestinian National Authority: The PA Ministerial Cabinet List Emergency Cabinet, October 2003 - November 2003, Jerusalem Media and Communication Centre.
- 'Saeb Erekat', GlobalSecurity.org
- Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat: Abu Mazen Rejected the Israeli Proposal in Annapolis Like Arafat Rejected the Camp David 2000 Proposal, MEMRI, March 27, 2009
- In my family, we are seven siblings. My six brothers and sisters are in the diaspora.
- Top Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat suffers heart attack
- 'Profile: Saeb Erakat', BBC News, September 4, 2003.
- Menachem Klein, The Jerusalem Problem: The Struggle for Permanent Status, University Press of Florida, 2003 p.98
- 'Q & A with Saeb Erekat', The Jerusalem Post, February 1, 2005.[dead link]
- Issacharoff, Avi; Ravid, Barak (November 28, 2007). "Annapolis joint statement was completed with just minutes to spare". Haaretz.
- "Erekat quits over Palestine Papers - Middle East". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
- PLO Negotiations Affairs Department, 28 July 2013, Press Release−Dr. Erekat: “We will continue working for the release of all our political prisoners.”
- Bennet, James (2003-05-17). "Top Palestinian Negotiator Offers to Quit on Eve of Talks". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
- Peter Beaumont in Jenin (April 19, 2002). "Army denies frenzy of destruction in Jenin | World news". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
- "Jeningrad: What the British Media Said". Honest Reporting. 2002-05-01. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
- CNN Transcripts
And we say the number [massacred] will not be less than 500.
- CNN Transcript
BLITZER: Mr. Erakat, you probably know that you've come under some widespread criticism here in the United States for initially charging that the Israelis were engaged in a massacre in Jenin. Perhaps 500 Palestinians murdered in that massacre, you suggested. But now all of the evidence suggests that perhaps 53 or 56 Palestinian civilians and combatants died in that fighting in Jenin.
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