Marwan Barghouti calls for Palestinian elections and an end to division – Middle East Monitor

Senior Fatah official Marwan Barghouti called on Palestinians to hold presidential and legislative elections and end the “disastrous” split in Palestinian society, Quds Press reported Wednesday. Barghouti is currently serving a number of concurrent life sentences in an Israeli prison, but remains a hugely influential and important figure in Palestinian politics.

In a letter sent to his wife Fadwa, the veteran activist reiterated the importance of “joint national action under the PLO, the Palestinian Authority and the government”. He called for dates to be set for the elections, as well as for an election of the members of the Palestinian National Council.

“The absence of elections for 20 years has left Palestinians living in a dangerous political vacuum,” he said. Moreover, the lack of harmony among Arab countries, he pointed out, has damaged Palestinian unity and undermined the ability to fight “the brutal Israeli occupation”.

Barghouti said Israel was working to increase the number of illegal settlements in the occupied territories. It is striving to have one million settlers in place by 2030. There are currently around 600,000 illegal settlers. All settlers and settlements are illegal under international law.

As such, Barghouti said, Israeli policies are not intended to provide any opportunity for the creation of an independent, viable and sovereign Palestinian state. “The rise of extremist religious parties in Israel,” he added, “heralds growing racism within the occupation state that could lead to the expulsion of Palestinians.”

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