Convicted arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti will soon announce his candidacy for the presidency of the Palestinian Authority, the Lebanese daily Al Akhbar reported on Tuesday.
The move comes in the wake of mounting pressure on Barghouti to renounce the potential bid.
Barghouti is currently serving a life sentence in Israel for the lethal terrorist attacks he helped mastermind during the Second Intifada. He previously rejected an offer to head the Fatah faction and choose half of its candidates ahead of the PA legislative election slated for May 22 – on the condition that he waive his candidacy for the presidency. A separate presidential election is scheduled for July 31.
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is battling a growing rift within his powerful Fatah party that poses a new threat to his dominance over Palestinian politics. Nasser al-Qudwa, a longtime member of Fatah’s top Central Committee, announced he was forming a new list that would run separately from Fatah in the legislative election.