Imprisoned MP Marwan Barghouthi

Op-Ed. Our president is jailed

By Kayed Ma’ari

Yet again Palestinian president Mr. Mahmoud Abbas has Declared that he needs a permission to pass the check points from the Israeli occupation Authorities . Essentially, Abbas means in this statement that he is suffering like his people from the Israeli restrictions.

However, this statement doesn’t help Abbas or bring him sympathy among Palestinians, instead it is raising a vital question among the Palestinians on the street: Why is he leading PA and for how long?

The Palestinian leadership and decision making circles are now discussing what will happen the “day after” a future resignation of Mr. Abbas and they are considering many scenarios; while, Abbas himself is trying to rebuild the major leading bodies of Palestinian people, such as the executive Committee of the PLO and furthermore holding the 7th Conference of the Fatah movement which is to take place before the end of this year.

Abu-Mazen is fighting two battles. The firs: Israel is killing potential for peace process by the continues confiscation of land on West Bank. While, capturing more Lands from the PA to be used for settlements, Israeli government is also negotiating with the Hamas Movement for a truce in Gaza without any consideration of the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah which will deepen the Palestinian division. The second battle is the conflict between competing factions within Fatah movement and Hamas as an alternative power in the same time. These battles make Mr. Abbas jailed in a prison of choices.

This internal battle makes the position of current regime more complicated and putting it in the frame of failure and incapable.

Ironically, the key to a solution might be inside the Israeli jails. Marwan Barghouthi who is sentenced to life , was a leading figure in the second intifada, and he could tip of power balance in favor of Fatah and create a new paradigm for Fatah as liberation and resistance spanning a renewed popular legitimacy after the many setbacks resulting from negotiations.

According to, the Arab World for Research and Development Center the latest public opinion poll reveals that Barghouthi would take the highest percentage of votes as a president candidate (42%) among the long list of possible Palestinian politicians including Hamas leader Khalid Mishal who stands to get (18%) of the votes..

Despite his absence, Barghouthi -or the Palestinian Mandela’s popularity goes across the West- Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip and the Diaspora Palestinians and the best choice of the new generation of Fatah members. That’s why a majority of Palestinians think that, now more than ever, is the time to collect all the needed Palestinian strength to ensure the freedom of Marwan.