The wife of jailed Fatah terrorist Marwan Barghouti has met with international leaders in recent weeks in an attempt to secure his release, Haaretz reported.
Fadwa Barghouti’s aim is to build support for her husband—serving several life sentences in an Israeli prison—to head the Palestinian Authority after Mahmoud Abbas, 87, either leaves office or dies. Abbas was elected in 2005 to what was supposed to be a four-year term.
She met with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri, Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Abu al-Gheit and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov during the campaign, according to the Israeli newspaper.
Jordan, Egypt and the Arab League issued official statements about the meetings.
The 64-year-old terrorist from Kobar in northern Samaria is popular in Palestinian polling, particular among the youth.
According to a poll of Palestinian public opinion conducted in September of last year, if presidential elections were held for the Palestinian Authority and Abbas did not run, Barghouti would receive 41% of the vote; Ismail Haniyeh, the international leader of Hamas, would receive 17%; ex-Fatah leader Muhammad Dahlan 5%; the leader of Hamas in Gaza, Yahya al-Sinwar, 4%; and Abbas’s confidant Hussein al-Sheikh only 2%.
Barghouti was arrested by Israel in 2002 and convicted on five counts of murder two years later—for the deaths of four Israelis and a Greek monk, as well as for attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and membership in a terrorist organization.
The court said that there wasn’t enough evidence to convict him on the 21 other murders in the original indictment.
He is widely believed to have directed the first and second intifadas that killed and wounded thousands of Israeli civilians.