donderdag 11 september 2008

'Barghouti kan Palestijnen niet verenigen' volgens IDF

Moet Israël Marwan Barghouti vrijlaten in ruil voor Shalit, of in een deal met de Palestijnen? Een meerderheid van de Israëli's is voor in het eerste geval, maar tegen in het tweede, hoewel zijn vrijlating juist in het eerste geval op het conto van Hamas zou komen.
Sommige politici zijn voor omdat hij Fatah zou kunnen versterken en de eenheid onder de Palestijnen herstellen, maar volgens een document van het Israëlische leger is hij daar niet toe in staat, en is zijn invloed geringer dan veelal wordt aangenomen.
'Barghouti cannot unite Palestinians'
yaakov katz and talia dekel , THE JERUSALEM POST
Jailed Fatah-Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti is unlikely to succeed in uniting the split Palestinian factions if he is released in a prisoner swap for kidnapped St.-Sgt. Gilad Schalit, according to a recent Defense Ministry report.

The document was prepared by a team of IDF officers who are experts on the Palestinian Authority and was submitted recently to Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Barghouti, who was sentenced to five life sentences for the murders of four Israelis and a Greek monk and 40 years imprisonment for an attempted murder, in 2004, would not have a dramatic impact on the PA if released, according to the officers. Hamas has put his name on a list of 450 security prisoners the group demands be released in exchange for Schalit.

Several Israeli politicians, such as National Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, favor his release, saying Barghouti has the political power needed to strengthen and unite Fatah in its fight against Hamas. In contrast, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief Yuval Diskin is opposed to Barghouti's release.

The Defense Ministry report analyzed his political strength in the PA and concluded that his influence fell mainly on field commanders in Ramallah but not in other parts of the West Bank, such as Nablus and Jenin - Hamas and Islamic Jihad strongholds. In addition, the report concluded that Barghouti would encounter fierce opposition from the "old guard" in the PA, such as former prime minister Ahmed Qurei, currently the chief Palestinian negotiator in the talks with Israel.

"He can be an important player, but his influence will be limited by the old guard," an official familiar with the document told The Jerusalem Post.

The researchers also studied the PA media and found that Barghouti was rarely mentioned, and if he was it was when the media quoted from an Israeli news report.

"He is not an issue that is in the Palestinians' daily discourse," the official said.

Meanwhile Tuesday, a poll conducted by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah reported that most Israelis back the release of Barghouti in exchange for Schalit.

Only 16 percent of Israelis surveyed opposed Barghouti's release, while 78% support swapping him. The numbers changed when Schalit was removed from the equation, with 50% opposing his release in an agreement with the Palestinians. Support for his release under such circumstances dropped to 45%.
While 39% of the Palestinians questioned agreed that the best way to secure the release of one of their own was to kidnap IDF soldiers, the figure rose to 74% when the question was asked in the context of Schalit's kidnapping.

Only 21% opposed abducting soldiers.

When not referring to Schalit, 59% of Palestinians said reaching a peace agreement was the best way to free the Palestinian prisoners.

The third significant conclusion of the poll was a consensus between both populations on the Gaza cease-fire with Hamas. Support for the truce among Palestinians and Israelis has risen since it went into effect in June.

The survey was carried out between August 25 and September 1. Nearly 1,300 Palestinians were randomly interviewed in person in east Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, with a margin of error of 3%. Just over 600 Israelis were surveyed over the phone with a margin of error of 4.5%.

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