First Published: 2004-11-16

 
Al-Aqsa opposes Abbas as Palestinian leader
 

Militant Palestinian group prefers jailed Barghuti to be their candidate for Palestinian leadership.

 

Middle East Online

Barghuti back in the spotlight

JENIN, West Bank - The militant Palestinian group Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades said Tuesday it is opposed to Mahmud Abbas being elected president of the Palestinian Authority to replace Yasser Arafat and would instead back jailed West Bank Fatah leader Marwan Barghuti.

"We do not support Abu Mazen for the election and we have decided to vote for Marwan Barghuti to be our candidate for president," a spokesman said, using Abbas' nom-de-guerre.

Abbas, the new PLO leader, is expected to be formally named as the candidate for the January 9 election for the mainstream Fatah party that he co-founded with Arafat, of which Al-Aqsa is an armed offshoot.

Sources within the organisation said that the decision had been made during a phone conference on Monday night with leaders of different cells throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

However one of the most prominent members of the organisation, Zakaria Zubeidi, stopped short of formally endorsing Barghuti.

"Since the (September 2000) start of the intifada we have not made any political statements," he said. "Whoever is the president we will respect that."

A poll conducted last month said Barghuti was the second most popular choice for Palestinian Authority president behind Arafat, who died last Thursday in a Paris hospital.

Fadwa Barghuti has said her husband - widely regarded as the inspiration behind the Palestinian intifada - was the "strongest candidate" for the presidency, but that his bid would depend on Fatah.

But on Monday, Palestinian foreign minister Nabil Shaath said Fatah had reached a consensus that Abbas should be its candidate in the election to replace Arafat.

In June, Barghuti was sentenced by an Israeli to five life terms for murder. He denied all charges.

 

Arab leaders meet in Sweimeh on conflicts, 'terror'

No unanimity on Syria ahead of Arab Summit

4 besieged Syria towns to be evacuated under deal

Tunisians demand Muslim marriage decree revoked

Palestinian pints divide Israeli pub

Israeli police shoot dead Palestinian woman armed with scissors

Bahrain sentences two to death for police bombing

Boat from Libya capsizes in Med, 146 migrants feared missing

Saudi police kill 2 gunmen during raid in Shiite-majority town

Over 60,000 S.Sudanese flee to Sudan in last three months

Bus bombing hits Syria's Homs, five dead

CAF chief Ahmad backs Morocco 2026 World Cup bid

US arrests Turkish banker for helping Iran violate sanctions

Turkey voices opposition to Kurdish flag in Kirkuk

Engineers to carry out urgent maintenance on IS-held Syria dam

Palestinian president meets Trump envoy at Arab summit

UN says over 300 civilians killed since start of west Mosul offensive

Disputed Iraqi province votes to fly Kurdish flag

Germany laments Turkey's 'unacceptable' spying

Syria opposition says no peace deal without US role

Turkey sends delegation to UK over electronics ban

UN chief urges Arab leaders to confront Syria war

Carlos the Jackal sentenced to life for Paris bombing

Arab League set to oppose Trump Israel embassy shift

Tributes flood in for anti-apartheid hero Ahmed Kathrada

US vows to never allow 'Israel-bashing' at UN

Netanyahu ban on MP visits to flashpoint holy site challenged

IS launches counter-attack to defend north Syria town

Saudi intercepts four ‘smuggled’ Yemen rebel missiles

Historic Casablanca buildings crumbling in silence

Saudi to set up investment fund to help Jordan

Iran slams Bahrain terror cell claims as ‘delusional’

UN says 30 million unsure of next meal in MENA region

Putin to meet Iran President in Moscow

US, allies talk of post-ISIS future, but have no plan

Al-Qaeda, on the rise again, hits Assad where it hurts

Germany’s Turks cast early ballots for Erdogan referendum

German court convicts Pakistani of spying for Iran

Qatar to invest £5bn in UK within five years

'Kill Erdogan' banner probed in Switzerland, Turkey

Arab League chief urges resolution to Syria conflict

Serious challenges for Arab leaders in Amman

Israel arrests 22 ultra-Orthodox sex offenders

Syrian forces pause offensive on IS-held dam for repairs

Dubai's Emaar Malls offers $800m to buy Souq.com