The terrorists hoping to be elected to the Palestinian parliament
According to lists published by the PA Central Elections Commission, among the parties set to participate in the upcoming Palestinian Authority elections two are parties that are designated by both the United States and the European Union as terror organizations: Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
While the US administration and the EU pushed Abbas to hold elections with the intention of promoting democracy and to give legitimacy to the Palestinian leadership, the PA elections will not be an endorsement of democracy, but rather highlight the terrorist nature of the Palestinian Authority.
The following are details of some of the terrorists running for election on the lists of Hamas and the PFLP:
Muhammad Abu Tir
Abu Tir has been a senior member of Hamas for many years. He was arrested in 2006, indicted on charges of membership and holding a senior position in Hamas. After his conviction, he was sentenced to four years in prison.
Barghouti was convicted of murdering an Israeli army officer in January 1978, near Ramallah and sentenced to life in prison. He received a conditional release in the Shalit prisoner exchange deal in 2011, with the condition being that he cut all ties to terror and commit no further offences. Barghouti was arrested again in 2014 for violating the terms of his release and was again imprisoned to serve his original sentence.
Jamal Abu Al-Hija
Abu Al-Hija was the head of Hamas’ military wing in Jenin. He was directly involved in multiple terror attacks, including, but not limited to the explosion of a car bomb in November 2000, in the Israeli city of Hadera, in which 2 people were murdered and 64 injured and the Miron Junction bombing in 2002, in which 9 were murdered and dozens injured. Al-Hija is serving 9 life sentences and an additional 20 years.
Al-Fakhouri was convicted of recruiting suicide bombers and sentenced to 22 years in prison. He was released in the Shalit prisoner exchange deal, on condition that he be released and stay in the Gaza Strip.
Other Hamas terrorists appearing on the list include Abed El Khalek Natsheh who has been held in prison on multiple occasions for Hamas related activity. In a 2014 petition Natsheh submitted to Israel’s High Court of Justice (HCJ 2824/14 Natsheh v The Military Commander for Judea and Samaria) he claimed that he was no longer a member of Hamas. Appearing as a candidate to represent Hamas in the PA parliament would suggest that his 2014 claim was not entirely truthful.
Sa’adat was convicted of heading the PFLP terror organization during the time when PFLP members murdered Israeli Minister of Tourism Rehavam Ze'evi in 2001. While not convicted for involvement in the murder, the PFLP has honored him publicly as the planner of the assassination. Arrested by Israel in March 2006, Sa’adat is serving a 30-year sentence.
Jarar was arrested in April 2015, for being a member of the PFLP and for inciting to kidnap Israeli soldiers to secure the release from prison of Ahmad Sa’adat. As part of a plea bargain, Jarar confessed in court, and was sentenced to 15 months in prison and fined 10,000 shekels, and given an additional suspended sentence of 10 months for incitement to violence and belonging to the PFLP. Most recently Jarar was indicted following the August 2019 terror attack carried out by PFLP terrorists in which 17-year-old Rina Schnerb was murdered and her father and brother were severely wounded. Jarar plead guilty to functioning as the de-facto head of the PFLP and is still in prison. Jarar was the deputy VP of the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Addameer, which has extensive links to the PFLP.
Ahed Abu Gholmeh
Abu Gholmeh was convicted of planning the murder of Israeli Minister of Tourism Rehavam Zeevi “Ghandi” on Oct. 17, 2001. Gholmeh is serving life in prison.
Hanatsha has a long history of PFLP related terror. Most recently, he was arrested and indicted for his part in the terror attack in which 17-year-old Rina Schnerb was murdered and her father and brother were severely wounded. According to the indictment, Hanatsha not only approved the plan of the terrorists to carry out the attack, but also drove the planner of the attack to the site on the morning of the attack itself. Hanatsha’s trial is pending.
Prior to his arrest and indictment for murder, Hanatsha was the financial and administrative director of an EU-funded Palestinian NGO, the Health Work Committees.
Ghaith is a known member of the PFLP who held membership in the organization’s "political bureau" until 2015 (at least) and co-founded Addameer. A special report of the Israeli government - “Terrorists in Suits, Blood Money - European-funded Palestinian NGOs & their terror operatives - A case study: Addameer” – included Ghaith as a PFLP member.
As stated, all the terrorists cited above are running for election to the PA parliament.
Under pressure from the European Union and the United States, Palestinian Authority Chairman, Mahmoud Abbas announced that the PA would hold general elections in May 2021. This will be the first general election held by the PA since the victory of the internationally designated terror organization Hamas in the last elections held in 2006. According to the announcement, the general elections will be followed by elections for PA Chairman. While PA law limits the term of the PA Chairman to a period of four years, with the option, subject to election, of a second and final additional term of four years, Abbas is now in his 16th year of his first four-year term.
It should be recalled, that in the last general elections held in 2006, Hamas won the outright majority of votes. The Hamas government was later deposed by Abbas, who replaced it with a so-called “technocrat” government. Abbas later replaced the technocrat government with members from his own Fatah party. In 2007, Hamas violently seized control of the Gaza Strip, on some occasions throwing members of Fatah to their death from the tops of buildings. Since then Abbas’ Fatah has controlled the PA areas in Judea and Samaria, while Hamas controls the Gaza Strip.