MK Basel Ghattas, considered too radical even for his Joint List party, is at it again, with plans to meet arch-terrorist Marwan Bhargouti, who he argues is a “symbol of Palestinian struggle.”
Barghouti, 56, was sentenced to five life sentences in 2002 after being convicted of multiple murder and attempted murder charges for attacks carried out by the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades on Israeli civilians and soldiers during the Second Intifada.
In an interview, Ghattas asserted it was “a great honor” for him to meet with Barghouti, saying: “The Palestinian prisoners are the conscience of the struggle of Palestine for freedom and independence and for an end to the occupation."
“Without true Palestinian leadership during these difficult days when there does not seem to be any possibility of a peace agreement – and in light of Israel's attempt to change the status-quo on the Temple Mount and expand its occupation of Jerusalem, I felt it was necessary to meet with this man, a son of the Palestinian people,” said Ghattas.
Last June, Ghattas's fellow Arab Joint List MKs expressed anger over his participation in a flotilla that attempted to sail to Gaza in June.
“Instead of serving the constituents he was elected to serve, Ghattas is serving the Arabs of Gaza, and causing problems for the rest of the party,” the Joint List wrote on Facebook, attacking Ghattas for acting independently, without coordination from the party.
After the Israeli Navy interdicted the flotilla ship, it took into custody its crew and passengers – including Ghattas. Former Likud MK Danny Danon welcomed the interdiction, saying that Ghattas's place isn't in the legislature building, but in prison.