Yasser Arafat has left a void. Among many within the Fatah party and the general Palestinian population they seek a replacement, one that may not be
endorsed by Israel, the U.S.A. and even the Fatah Revolutionary Council. From an Israeli prison Marwan Barghouti though serving several life terms
indicated Thursday that he will run for Yasser Arafat's position as head of the Palestinian Authority. Which could add to a power struggle in the
ruling Fatah movement between the "old guard of politicians" like Mahmoud Abbas and the younger generation of activists who have led uprisings in
the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
ABCNEWS.com Full Article
RAMALLAH, West Bank Nov 25, 2004 — Marwan Barghouti, a fiery Palestinian leader serving multiple life terms in an Israeli prison, indicated Thursday
that he is running for Yasser Arafat's position as head of the Palestinian Authority, defying the traditional leadership and scrambling the political
picture ahead of the Jan. 9 election.
Barghouti, 45, is challenging interim leader Mahmoud Abbas, 69, a pragmatist who appears to have the tacit support of Israel and the United States.
Barghouti's candidacy sharpens a power struggle in the ruling Fatah movement, pitting the old guard of politicians, like Abbas, who returned with
Arafat from exile in 1994, against the younger generation of activists who led two uprisings in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Arafat ruled Fatah for
nearly 40 years until his death Nov. 11.
Late Thursday, the Fatah Revolutionary Council endorsed the Abbas nomination. Palestinian official Tayeb Abdel Rahim said this was the final approval,
making Abbas "the only candidate of the Fatah movement."
Defying his own party, Barghouti informed associates Thursday, through his lawyers, that he would run. He would have to stand as an independent,
threatening a split in the Fatah vote that could even propel an outside candidate into the presidency.
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According to the above report Barghouti is serving five life terms for his roles in attacks on Israelis. His supporters claim they are expecting that
international pressure on Israel will free him.
Looking at Arafat's legacy.. Most of the free world seen him as nothing more than a criminal and a terrorist.
If Barghouti some how gains the support of the Palestinian people, and by some twist of fate wins the election from his prison cell.. Would Israel
then free him bowing to international pressure?
If that happens it could not be more fitting to have replaced Arafat with a convicted criminal and terrorist.
Will Marwan Barghouti be the next leader of the PLO?
[edit on 25-11-2004 by UM_Gazz]