The PA expresses apprehension regarding the potential success of the hostage deal and the release of Marwan Barghouti.

The PA leadership opposes the release of Marwan Barghouti from prison due to his perceived challenge to the authority of Mahmoud Abbas. There are concerns within the PA that the release of hundreds of Hamas military wing operatives, as part of an anticipated deal between Israel and Hamas, may destabilize the PA.

 Marwan Barghouti, the figure behind the second intifada next to Yasser Arafat, was recently transferred from “Offer” prison to another facility, where he is now held in segregation, according to the Israeli prison authority.

Security sources indicate that Barghouti is allegedly working through various channels to incite unrest in Judea and Samaria ahead of Ramadan, potentially aiming to spark a third intifada.

He believes his release is imminent as part of a deal between Israel and Hamas and seeks to bolster his position among Palestinians while incarcerated.

Sources within the Fatah movement suggest that senior PA figures, such as Hussein al-Sheikh and Majed Faraj, close associates of Mahmoud Abbas, informed Israel about Barghouti’s activities.

Marwan Barghouti poses a significant threat to Mahmoud Abbas’s leadership and enjoys substantial support in Palestinian public opinion, often being seen as Abbas’s potential successor and head of the PA.

In 2011, the PA successfully blocked Barghouti’s release as part of the Shalit deal, convincing Israel and the US that his release would jeopardize security cooperation with Israel and undermine the Oslo Accords.

Barghouti also poses a challenge to the Fatah leadership in the PA succession battle.

Notably concerned about his potential release are Hussein al-Sheikh, the secretary-general of the PLO’s executive committee, and Majed Faraj, the head of Palestinian intelligence, both of whom see themselves as leading candidates to succeed Mahmoud Abbas.

At the highest levels of the PA, there is also apprehension about the potential large-scale release of hundreds of Hamas military wing activists into Judea and Samaria as part of the Israeli-Hamas deal.

Such a release could bolster Hamas’s influence and further destabilize the PA.

Hamas has promised Barghouti’s wife that his release would be a priority in any deal with Israel regarding the release of security prisoners.

Hamas aims to demonstrate its commitment to releasing prisoners from all factions, highlighting the PA’s perceived failure in this regard.

Barghouti, known as the architect of terror during the second intifada and a key figure under Yasser Arafat, was sentenced to five life terms for his role in attacks against Israelis.

Often referred to by Palestinians as the “Palestinian Nelson Mandela,” Barghouti enjoys significant popularity in both Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip.

Barghouti receives substantial support from senior Fatah official Mohammad Dahlan and Fatah Secretary-General Jabril Rajoub in Judea and Samaria.

The release of Marwan Barghouti depends primarily on Israel’s consent, with political sources in Jerusalem indicating strong opposition within the right-wing government to his release as part of any deal with Hamas.

Yoni Ben Menachem Senior Middle East Analyst

About Yoni Ben Menachem

Yoni Ben Menachem is a Middle East senior analyst ,a journalist and
the former CEO of the Israel Broadcasting Authority(IBA). He has
decades of experience in written and video journalism. Ben
Menachem’s path in the media world began as a producer for
Japanese television in the Middle East. After that, he held many key
positions in the media The Israeli: CEO of the Israel Broadcasting
Authority, director of “Kol Israel” Radio, reporter on West Bank and
Gaza Strip affairs, political reporter and commentator, commentator
on Middle East affairs and editor-in-chief and presenter of the
program “Middle East Magazine”. 

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