RAMALLAH, West Bank – Jailed Palestinian uprising leader Marwan Barghouti and other younger activists swept Fatah primaries, signaling a change of generations that could make the corruption-tainted ruling party more attractive to voters in Jan. 25 parliament elections, according to preliminary results released Saturday.
The Barghouti-led “young guard” had long pushed for a greater say, especially after last year’s death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who founded Fatah and controlled it four decades….
Barghouti, 46, is seen as a potential successor to Abbas even though he is serving multiple life terms in an Israeli prison for involvement in shooting attacks that killed five Israelis….
“Barghouti was convicted in an Israeli court, a civilian court, I would stress, and sentenced to consecutive life sentences for his involvement in the murder of innocent civilians,” said Mark Regev, an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman….
Two fugitives from Fatah’s violent offshoot, the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, also secured high positions. The Jenin winner, Jamal Abu Rob, who gave himself the nickname “Hitler,” is wanted for killing several suspected informers with Israel. The Nablus candidate, Jamal Jumaa, is a leader of Al Aqsa in the West Bank’s largest city.