Head of the Tanzim faction of Fatah, Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison for his heinous acts, is receiving international media notoriety after launching a prison hunger strike last week. An estimated 1,100 terrorists imprisoned in Israel of a total of about 6,000 are participating in the hunger strike.
The following information, provided by the Israel Foreign Ministry, provides a bit of an insight as to who Barghouti is since some of the international media portray him more as a freedom fighter and not who he actually is.
Marwan Barghouti, a convicted murderer and terrorist, was one of the leaders of the Second Intifada, the Palestinian terror campaign of suicide bombings and shooting attacks on Israeli citizens, between 2000-2005, and not just an innocent Palestinian leader and parliamentarian.
Barghouti’s murder record:
Barghouti was convicted in a criminal suit in Israeli district court on five separate counts of murder of innocent civilians.
Crimes orchestrated by Barghouti include: The murder of Greek monk Tsibouktsakis Germanus in Jerusalem on June 12, 2001; the murder of Yoela Hen in Jerusalem on January 15, 2002; and the murder of Eli Dahan, Yosef Habi, and Salim Barakat in Tel Aviv on March 5, 2002.
He was acquitted of 21 counts of murder in 33 other attacks, due to lack of sufficient evidence.
Barghouti was the founder and senior official of the designated terrorist group Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, which was responsible for massacring dozens of Israelis in suicide bombings and shooting attacks during the Second Intifada (2001-2005).
Barghouti also served as the head of the Tanzim, an armed faction in Fatah that carried out attacks on Israeli civilians during the Second Intifada. During his trials, Barghouti showed no remorse for the murders he committed.
Whitewashing murder: the April 16 New York Times Op-Ed
The recent Op-Ed published by Marwan Barghouti in the New York times is filled with lies and distortions. To add insult to injury, the original publication never mentions that Barghouti was imprisoned after he was tried and convicted on five counts for murder.
In his opinion piece, Barghouti’s claims of mistreatment have no basis or evidence; moreover, he could have appealed his claims at the time he alleges they occurred, but did not.
The New York Times, in publishing the article and failing to fact-check Barghouti’s claims and to provide basic context, allowed itself to be used as a mouthpiece for a convicted terrorist’s fabrications.
Furthermore, Barghouti’s recent declaration of a hunger strike and this Op-Ed are part of a bid to gain relevance within internal Palestinian politics and an attempt to increase influence on the Palestinian street. Barghouti has been out of the political limelight in recent years, and failed this past February to secure the position of deputy chair to the Palestinian Authority.
The rights of prisoners under international humanitarian law
Palestinians incarcerated in Israeli prisons receive all the rights to which they are entitled to under international law. Moreover, in many cases, Palestinian prisoners also enjoy privileges that go beyond their rights under the Geneva Convention; for instance, Barghouti completed his Ph.D. while incarcerated.
Barghouti’s claim that 200 Palestinian prisoners have died since 1967 in Israeli prisons is baseless. Prisoners and detainees are treated humanely in Israel and in accordance with international law. Within the last decade, only one prisoner died violently, during a riot.
Barghouti’s record: the antithesis to peace
If Barghouti had truly sought the establishment of a Palestinian state living in peace side by side with Israel, he would have supported Israel’s proposal for a Palestinian State at the Camp David negotiations in 2000 (as well as Israel’s further peace proposals in the following years since then).
Instead, Barghouti chose the path of violence, spearheading the bloody Second Intifada immediately after rejecting the Camp David proposal, thus shattering the peace process.
Additionally, in referring to Israel as “an occupying power” for 70 years – meaning, since Israel’s establishment in 1948 – Barghouti indicates that he espouses the extremist ideology that seeks to eliminate Israel and to replace it with a Palestinian State. His rhetoric serves only to inspire more hate crimes and violence, and is the antithesis to peaceful coexistence, dialogue and mutual recognition.
But even with him being behind bars, Barghouti is still rewarded for his acts of violence, receiving a salary while from the Palestinian Authority.
Calculated through age 85, Barghouti will have received almost 1,000,000 dollars in salary from the Palestinian Authority, whose budget is in part funded by taxpayer money from numerous democratic countries.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)