Long-time chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat is in a medically induced coma, according to the Israeli hospital in Jerusalem where he is being treated for coronavirus complications.

The Palestine Liberation Organisation said on Sunday that Mr Erekat had been admitted to Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital's coronavirus intensive care unit due to "chronic health problems in the respiratory system".

The 65-year-old tested positive for Covid-19 on 9 October, the PLO said.

The hospital said yesterday that Mr Erekat had arrived in "serious but stable condition" and was receiving oxygen.

This morning, however, Hadassah said his condition "deteriorated" and is now critical.

"Due to respiratory distress, he is anaesthetised and ventilated."

Mr Erekat, who lives in the biblical town of Jericho in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, underwent lung-transplant surgery in the United States in 2017.

"Mr Erekat is a challenge to treat for coronavirus since he had lung transplants", the hospital said. "He is immunosuppressed and has another bacterial infection in addition to coronavirus."

The hospital said it was "in contact with international medical authorities regarding the treatment policy of this complex patient".

Mr Erekat serves as the PLO's secretary-general.

He has been a key figure in Palestinian politics for decades, often serving as a main interlocutor for foreign envoys and the international media.

He has consistently voiced support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

There have been 42,490 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the West Bank, including 381 deaths.