Born in Jerusalem in 1956, Saeb Erekat has been secretary general of the PLO Executive Committee since July 2015, when he replaced Yasser Abed Rabbo. He is also member of Fatah’s Central Committee (CC), of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), and chief Palestinian negotiator with Israel. He is a former university lecturer and editor of the pan-Arab al-Quds newspaper.
Erekat has been centrally involved in the peace process since 1995, but faced controversy over the release of the 2011 Palestine Papers, which revealed that the Palestinian negotiating team had offered extensive concessions to Israel as part of a two-state solution, including control of most of its West Bank settlements. Erekat required a lung transplant in 2017, raising questions about his health and his continuing role heading up peace negotiations with Israel.