Palestinian prisoner Barghouti expected to nominate himself for PA presidency

Sources tell Qatari news site Al-Arabi al-Jadeed that Palestinian prisoner Marwan al-Barghouti — currently serving life sentences in Israeli jail for directing several suicide bombings — intends to nominate himself for the PA presidency.

Al-Barghouti is quite popular among Palestinians, and his name is frequently mentioned as a potential successor to aging Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

In a recent opinion poll, 37 percent of those surveyed named Al-Barghouti as their preferred candidate. Hamas terror chief Ismail Haniyeh was the runner-up with 23 percent.

A decree issued by Abbas earlier this month set presidential elections for July 31, but observers remain skeptical they’ll happen. The Palestinians have not seen national elections for 14 years, and several promises by Palestinian leaders that their people would return to the polls have fallen through over the years.

A man holds a photo of convicted Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti calling for his release during a rally supporting those detained in Israeli jails after hundreds of prisoners launched a hunger strike, in the West Bank town of Hebron on April 17, 2017. (AFP Photo/Hazem Bader)
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