Marwan Barghouti
Marwan Barghouti Reuters

Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Thursday praised cities in France who expressed support for the “prisoner leader” Marwan Barghouti, as he put it.

Hamdallah made the remarks at a meeting in Ramallah with a delegation of mayors from France who gave Barghouti honorary citizenship.

The comments come amid an ongoing campaign to nominate the arch-terrorist Barghouti, who is in an Israeli jail serving five life sentences for his role in planning suicide terror attacks in Israel, for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Leading Belgian Members of Parliament from across the political spectrum announced their nomination of Barghouti last month, and they were joined last week by South African archbishop and prominent anti-Israel campaigner Desmond Tutu.

Hamdallah welcomed the campaign on Thursday, saying that Barghouti is a symbol of the Palestinian Prisoners Movement.

He further stressed that the Palestinian leadership is adamant that there will not be peace without the release of all Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, since the prisoners defended the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to establishing their own independent state.

Barghouti is widely perceived as a popular choice to replaceMahmoudAbbas, whose term in office expired several years ago, as PA chairman.

The arch-terrorist is considered one of the founders of Tanzim, one of Fatah's armed terrorist factions.

Barghouti has continued to exert great influence within the Fatah party even from prison. Likewise he has been visited by Arab MKs, and has sought presidency of the PA from jail.