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Barghouti's son: Father is a terrorist, just like Mandela

Barghouti is considered a hero and a freedom fighter in Palestine [Getty]

Date of publication: 6 May, 2017

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“My father is a terrorist, just like Nelson Mandela”, Aarab Barghouti told Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
Aarab Barghouti faced Israeli media to address decades of smears against his jailed father, Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouthi.

“My father is a terrorist, just like Nelson Mandela”, Aarab told Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

“He was sentenced to five life terms. [Nelson] Mandela was also sentenced to life imprisonment. My father is a man of peace. He always sought peace. The only thing he will not forgo is his people’s rights”.

This comes after Marwan Barghouthi faced a new wave of smears in the Israeli public after leading a hunger strike that initially had over 1,500 participants on April 17, ingesting only water and salt. The number of strikers has now decreased to just below 1,000 people.

Arabic press had picked up on Marwan Barghouthi posting a message on an online forum from prison describing the hunger strikes as paramount to the "freedom and dignity” to the Palestinian people and cause.

"I am sending words to you from solitary confinement to which I was sent on behalf of the hundreds of prisoners who joined the strike,” he wrote.

"While Israel thinks isolating and oppressing us would stop us from continuing our struggle for our rights to be met, the prisoners are certain that their people will not disappoint them and that the people will unite in solidarity with them and the families burdened by the strikes," he continued.

“The [Israeli] occupation will not hurt us and will not weaken us. We are rising up against humiliation”.

For Palestinians, Barghouthi is hailed as a Palestinian hero and a symbol of the Palestinian uprising.

Another person's freedom-fighter

Barghouti was first arrested in 2002 and was sentenced two years later. 

He was handed five consecutive life sentences after Israeli authorities charged him with the founding of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, a group Israel designates as a "terrorist" organisation, as well as being involved in several murders during the Second Intifada, charges he has consistently denied.

For Palestinians, Barghouti is hailed as a Palestinian hero and a symbol of the Palestinian uprising.

On Friday, protests broke out over the Middle East in support of Palestinian hunger strikers. Hundreds demonstrated in front of Al-Husseini Mosque in Central Amman after Friday prayers.

Two protestors in the Palestinian city of Hebron were injured after clashing with Israeli police when protesting in solidarity with the hunger strikers.

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