Marwan Barghouti, serving five life terms for the murder of dozens of Jews, continues to lead from his prison cell and calls for a “Palestinian Authority Arab Spring” to force Hamas and Fatah to unify.
Using privileges that Israel authorities have given him, Barghouti, continuously rated by polls as the PA Arabs’ most popular leader, said in an interview, "Youth of all persuasions in the West Bank, Gaza, and Diaspora should hold sit-ins in front of party headquarters until the split is ended.”
"Neither history, nor the people, nor martyrs, or prisoners of any party, will forgive any leader who puts obstacles in the way of national reconciliation," he said.
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and de facto Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh have been talking unity for more than a year, a move that could place in question American recognition of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, because Hamas has been declared an illegal terrorist organization.
Barghouti formerly has called for “peaceful” resistance in Judea, Samaria and Gaza against a Jewish presence in those areas.
He was convicted in 2004 of five counts of murder after he masterminded suicide bombings that left hundreds of Israelis dead and wounded.
Barghouti was acquitted of 21 counts of murder in 33 other attacks for "lack of sufficient evidence."