Middle East Monitor / February 11, 2021
Member of Palestinian Fatah Central Committee Hussein al-Sheikh is due to meet Marwan Barghouti, who is serving a life-term in Israeli jails, to urge him not to run in the upcoming presidential elections slated for July, Israeli media outlets reported.
Israel’s Kan radio said the Israeli authorities have approved Al-Sheikh’s request to visit Barghouti, noting that the visit is scheduled to take place on Thursday unless a last-minute change took place.
According to the radio station, Al-Sheikh “will try to persuade Barghouti not to run in the Palestinian presidential elections, scheduled for next July, in order not to break the unity of Fatah’s ranks.”
Leaders of the Fatah movement announced that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would be the movement’s candidate in the presidential elections.
In 2005, Barghouti ran for office but withdrew from the election race, after similar visits by senior officials in the Palestinian Authority.
He was later chosen to lead the movement’s list in the 2006 parliamentary elections.
The Fatah Central Committee is scheduled to meet on Saturday to discuss the outcome of the Palestinian national dialogue, which took place in Cairo two days ago.
Opinion polls have recently shown that Barghouti would win the Palestinian presidential elections against Abbas.
Israeli sources claimed that Abbas prefers to keep Barghouti behind bars so that he would not be a threat in any election.