Hamas Insists on Release of Barghouti in Ceasefire Negotiations

By Yoni Weiss

An image of Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian political figure convicted and imprisoned for murder by an Israeli court, painted on the security fence near the Palestinian village of Qalandiya, in 2016. (Haytham Shtayeh/Flash90)

In the current ceasefire negotiations between Israel and Hamas, the Gaza-based terror group is making the release of Marwan Barghouti a central demand. Barghouti, a prominent Fatah leader, is currently serving multiple life sentences in an Israeli prison. Palestinian leadership views Barghouti as a key figure in potential peace talks and insists on his release as a condition for any agreement.

Marwan Barghouti gained prominence during the First and Second Intifadas, initially supporting the peace process before becoming a leader in the Second Intifada from the Palestinian Authority. Associated with Tanzim, a paramilitary group linked to Fatah, Barghouti has been labeled a terrorist by Israeli authorities, accused of orchestrating various attacks, including suicide bombings against civilians and military personnel.

In 2002, he was arrested by the IDF in Ramallah and subsequently convicted on multiple counts of murder, receiving five life sentences. Despite being imprisoned, Barghouti continues to exert significant influence within the Fatah movement, leading to speculation about his potential as a unifying candidate to succeed Mahmoud Abbas as the leader of the Palestinian Authority.

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