According to Mahmoud Al-Aloul, a prominent Fatah leader, the party has decided to appoint Marwan Barghouti as Vice President to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, hoping that this move will trigger his release. Barghouti is a member of Fatah's Central Committee and has been imprisoned by Israel since 2002.
Al-Aloul told Al-Quds News on Wednesday: "We have intensified our efforts to design a practical plan which puts pressure on Israel to release Barghouti". Al-Aloul said that "If Barghouti is appointed as Vice President to Abbas, and with sufficient international, Palestinian and Arab pressure, then the Israelis must release him, being as he would be a senior Palestinian official."
Palestinian Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Qaraqe said: "The Palestinian leadership will work to release Barghouti. We will visit him in prison to discuss appointing him as Abbas's Vice President. His approval could accelerate his release as he would then hold a senior position."
Members in Fatah's Central Committee reiterated the need to appoint Barghouti as Vice President during a committee meeting headed by Abbas on Saturday. Meanwhile, a delegation from the movement headed by Al-Aloul is preparing to visit Barghouti in prison to convince him to accept the post and to be Fatah's candidate during any upcoming presidential elections in the Palestinian territories, especially as Abbas reiterated his intention not to run for another presidential term.