Marwan Barghouti on street poster
Marwan Barghouti on street posterAbed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

Hussein al-Sheikh, a member of the central committee of the Fatah movement, on Thursday visited terrorist prisoner Marwan Barghouti and conveyed a message and personal greetings from "President" Mahmoud Abbas.

Barghouti, who headed the Al-Aqsa Brigades, Fatah's military wing, is serving several life sentences in Israel for his role in planning terrorist attacks against Israelis.

He is widely believed to have planned the Second Intifada, which claimed thousands of Israeli lives from 2000 to 2005. Barghouti has continued inciting to terrorism from his jail cell.

In a conversation with journalists following Thursday’s meeting, al-Sheikh said that he had talked with Barghouti about the results of the discussions between the Palestinian Arab organizations leading up to holding general elections for the Palestinian representative institutions, adding that Barghouti praised the national agreement on holding the elections.

Al-Sheikh further said that Barghouti called for a broad participation in the upcoming elections in order to bring an end to the state of division in the Palestinian arena and create national unity.

Barghouti also supported the compilation of a single unified list of the Fatah movement that will run in the elections and represent all the various sectors, including the fighters and security prisoners. It was recently reported that Barghouti is considering running for the leadership of the Palestinian Authority.

Abbas recently issued a decree ordering general elections in PA-assigned territories.

The decree states that legislative elections will take place on May 22. A “presidential” election will take place on July 31. It sets a deadline of August 31 for establishing the Palestinian National Council.

Abbas' term as PA chairman was meant to expire in 2009, but he has remained in office in the absence of elections.

No PA elections have taken place since 2006 and similar initiatives in the past have failed to result in elections.