Barghouti Bows Out, Arafat?s Policies Back In

Jailed terrorist murderer Marwan Barghouti withdrew Sunday night from the PA presidential election, hours after release of a report of frontrunner Abu Mazen's platform adopting Arafat’s policies.

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, | updated: 21:36

Barghouti, serving five life sentences for murder of Jews, announced his candidacy two weeks ago, and quickly matched PA leader Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) in the polls. Abu Mazen's Fatah movement then threatened to remove Barghouti's membership if he didn’t resign.

Barghouti announced his support for Abu Mazen today, after an eastern Jerusalem newspaper published the leader’s platform, including Jerusalem as the capital of a new Arab state.

The Al-Quds newspaper reported that Abu Mazen adopted the platform in return for Barghouti’s resignation from the upcoming January 9th election for Palestinian Authority chairman. The paper added that Abu Mazen will officially announce the platform in two weeks.

The 12-point program is essentially a repeat of the demands made by Yasser Arafat of former Prime Minister Ehud Barak during the Oslo II talks in Camp David in 2000. The talks collapsed after Arafat rejected Barak’s offer to give the Arabs almost all of post-1967 Israel - Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

The platform echoes recent statements by Abu Mazen demanding release of imprisoned terrorists, removal of the anti-terror security fence, and declaration of a new Arab state within Israel by the end of 2005. It also calls for the “defense of Jerusalem as the Arab capital” and for "Islamic institutions to invest in educational, economic and residential projects."