Israeli Daily: Release Marwan Barghouti
June 21, 2007 (LPAC)--The major Israeli daily Ha'aretz calls today for the release of imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, as key to strengthening moderate forces among Palestinians. Barghouti has been imprisoned since 2002, when he was convicted of murder and terrorism by an Israeli court, and sentenced to 5 life terms.
For decades Barghouti had been in the forefront of those in the Palestinian leadership who organized the Oslo Peace accords. He became a leader of the Intifada only after it was clear that then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had no intention of making peace with the Palestinians. Even then, Barghouti never stopped appealing for peace through negotiations.
Over a year ago, both statesman Lyndon LaRouche and former U.S. Secretary of State James Banker III called for Barghouti's release.
Ha'aretz writes, "Modern history, including Israel's, has known national leaders who turned to violence and were jailed for years, until they were released to become political leaders who marched their peoples toward independence peacefully.... Now, Barghouti's turn has come."
Working from his prison cell, Barghouti was instrumental in drafting an agreement between the Fatah and Hamas factions that became the bases for the now-defunct unity government. Barghouti, along the other members of the young guard in Fatah, has also called for the removal of Mohammad Dahlan from the Fatah leadership. Dahlan, a former Fatah strongman in the Gaza Strip, is widely believed to have acted as the instrument of a policy promoted by Vice President Dick Cheney, to foment a Palestinian civil war.