Hatem Abdel-Qader, a member of the Revolutionary Council of Fatah which is headed by Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, confirmed on Wednesday that archterrorist Marwan Barghouti will run for the PA leadership in the upcoming elections.
Barghouti 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 an interview with the Hamas-affiliated Al-Risala website, Abdel-Qader said that Barghouti may run on a separate list which would be affiliated with the Fatah movement but not affiliated with the Palestinian Authority.
According to Abdel-Qader, there is a possibility that three lists affiliated with Fatah will run in the election: A list headed by Barghouti's, the PA list and a list headed by Mohammed Dahlan, though reports on Tuesday said Fatah had turned down a proposal by Dahlan to run on a joint list.
Abbas earlier this month 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.