Marwan Barghouti, a prominent leader in the Fatah movement, participated in the first Palestinian uprising in 1987, and was deported and imprisoned more than once, and Israel tried to assassinate him many times, and he was sentenced to five life sentences. He was elected a member of the Central Committee of Fatah at its seventh conference in 2016.

Birth and upbringing

Marwan Barghouti was born on June 6, 1958 in the village of Kober, northwest of Ramallah.

Study and training

Al-Barghouti was arrested before completing secondary school on charges of participating in anti-occupation demonstrations in Birzeit and Ramallah, which kept him out of school, but he was able to obtain high school education inside the prison, and he added to it learning Hebrew and the principles of French and English.

He entered Birzeit University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in history and political science, then a master’s in international relations at the same university, and in 2010 he obtained a doctorate in political science from the Institute for Research and Studies of the League of Arab States.

Jobs and responsibilities

Until his arrest, Barghouti worked as a lecturer at Al-Quds University in Abu Dis, and assumed many political responsibilities.

Intellectual orientation

Al-Barghouti believed that negotiations should be based on the scope of the powers of the peace agreements, and the vision he believes in within the Fatah movement represents the total rejection of the Judaization of Jerusalem and the policy of Jewish settlement, and he considers the settlements terrorist outposts that must be fought, and he is one of the leaders of Fatah that has a good relationship with Islamic groups.
Any Palestinian who bargains with the 1967 borders is considered a traitor, but he stresses the need to reach a just and final solution within the provisions of United Nations resolutions, and sees the need for the peace process to have a sponsor other than the United States for its complete bias towards Israel.

Political experience

Barghouti was involved in political work early and was active in the Palestinian Liberation Movement (Fatah) led by President Yasser Arafat. One of his first political responsibilities was his assumption of the presidency of the Student Council at Birzeit University.

He was one of the founders of the Student Youth in the West Bank, and headed its movement at Birzeit University in the early eighties, and worked as a liaison officer for the Palestine Liberation Organization offices in Amman and Tunis. He was deported to Jordan, but he continued from his exile position as a member of the Higher Committee for the Intifada of the PLO, and worked in the leadership committee of Fatah (Western Sector).

He was elected a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council at the movement’s fifth general conference, and he was elected as a secretary of the movement in the West Bank after his return to the occupied territories in April 1994, and in 1996 he was elected a member of the Legislative Council, representing the Ramallah district.

Al-Barghouti was stalked and arrested in 1984 and re-arrested in 1985, then placed under house arrest before being subjected to administrative detention in the same year.
He was subjected to more than one assassination attempt, one of which was fired by guided missiles, and a car bomb was sent specifically to him. In the last Israeli invasion of Ramallah, Barghouti was on the most wanted list, and Israeli forces managed to arrest him on April 15, 2002.

He was charged with numerous charges, including incitement to kill dozens of Israelis, and the Tel Aviv District Court sentenced him in 2004, amid unprecedented security measures, to five life sentences and forty years.
Barghouti did not acknowledge the trial and responded by saying, "You brought me here by force. I do not want your accusations," adding, "Our will will not be broken. We are fighting for freedom and independence .. there will be no peace before an end to the occupation."

He headed the unified list of Fatah in the second legislative elections, and on May 9, 2006 - on behalf of the movement - signed the "National Accord Document" issued by the captive leaders of the various Palestinian factions in the occupation prisons, which led to the Mecca Agreement between Fatah and the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) .

Despite his presence in prison, Barghouti was again elected as a member of the Fatah Central Committee, during the movement’s seventh conference, which was held in Ramallah at the end of November 2016.

Al-Barghouti collected 70% of the votes of the members of the conference to come in the forefront of the winners of membership in the Fatah Central Committee. His wife, Fadwa, who is also an activist in Fatah - told the French News Agency that Marwan wields more influence than he has ever been, despite having been in prison for 14 years, and that he has succeeded in thwarting the Israeli plan to silence him and isolate him from the street and the Palestinian political arena.

Analysts believe that Barghouti is capable of mobilizing the masses, and he is the only one who can end the split between Fatah and Hamas.

On April 18, 2017, on the occasion of Palestinian Prisoner's Day, Barghouti leaked from his prison an article published in the New York Times in which he said that the 15 years he spent in Israeli prisons authorized him to become a witness and a victim of the system of random mass detentions on which the illegal Israeli system is based against Palestinians and abuse He treated them, adding that he had exhausted all other options and decided to resist these violations with a hunger strike.

Al-Barghouti indicated the brutality of the Israeli practices and said, "I was 15 years old when I was imprisoned for the first time, and I was barely 18 when an Israeli interrogator forced me to stand apart between my legs while I was naked, before he hit my genitals. I immediately fainted from the severity of the pain and hit my head on the ground. He still has scars from that, and he said, sarcastically, that people like me should not have children because I have nothing but terrorists and criminals, and after years I find myself inside Israeli prisons again leading a hunger strike.

Al-Barghouthi added that hundreds of Palestinian prisoners suffer from torture, ill-treatment and medical neglect, and some have even been killed in detention, with approximately 6,500 political prisoners subjecting to the longest detention periods in the world, as there is hardly one family. In Palestine, she was not exposed to the ordeal of imprisonment for one or more of its members.