Amid rumors that Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas is preparing to step down, Kadura Fars, head of the Palestinian Prisoner's Club, suggested Wednesday night that arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti "become the next chairman of the PA."
Fars made the comments during an interview for a series of articles called "Security Prisoners," Channel 10 reported.
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.
He is considered one of the founders of "Tanzim," one of Fatah's armed terrorist factions, and has continued to exert great influence within the party even from prison.
According to Fars, "I hope Barghouti will be the leader to lead the Palestinian people to freedom, independence and sovereignty." Another PA official, Jibril Rajoub, described Bargouti as "a national symbol for us."
Although Barghouti has often been tapped as Abbas's possible successor, winning favor across several different Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the chances of his release are slim.
That did not, however, deter Fars, who suggested that he run for chairmanship of the PA from inside prison, calling it "suitable for the Palestinian reality."
According to former Shin Bet official, Yaron Bloom, the encouragement Barghouti has received to become the potential chairman of the PA is all part of a tactical ploy to get him out of jail.
"Nelson Mandela used his time in prison to gain control and become a legend," Bloom told Channel 10. "The Palestinians can create a situation in which the election of Barghouti as chairman will create pressure on Israel to release him."