Health Ministry: Erekat Not on Waiting List for Transplant

Erekat, Israel, lung
Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat, shown here speaking at the Mediterranean Dialogues Conference Forum in Rome in 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Israeli health authorities have denied media reports that circulated on Tuesday to the effect that Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat is on a “short list” for a lung transplant in an Israeli hospital, Arutz Sheva said on Wednesday.

Ministry of Health acknowledged in a statement that Erekat has requested to be put on a waiting list for a transplant, but that regulations prevent them from doing so.

“Only patients who are residents of the State of Israel can be registered in the national waiting list for transplants,” the Ministry of Health and the National Transplant Center said Tuesday evening in a statement on the social media page of the ADI Donor Card.

“The order of priorities for transplants is determined according to medical criteria only, without exceptions, according to the principle that only a resident of Israel who needs the transplant will receive the donation,” the statement added.

“In cases where no Israeli patient is found to receive the organ, it is possible to transplant the donated organ to a non-resident of Israel, subject to the consent of the donor’s family, in coordination with the transplant center. Such cases are extremely rare.

“The Ministry of Health has been asked to make an exception and include Mr. Saeb Erekat in the waiting list. For legal reasons, the Ministry of Health cannot grant this exceptional request, due to a commitment to preserve the purity of the procedures for allocating organs. Mr. Erekat will only be able to receive an organ donation using the procedure relating to non-residents of Israel, as noted above,” the statement concluded.

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