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Israel Accused of “Forcibly Disappearing” Marwan Barghouti

The Palestinian ‘Revolutionary Council’, the general assembly of the Fatah movement, of which Marwan Barghouti is a senior leader, issued a statement warning that Barghouti’s life “is at real risk” in Israeli jails. The statement follows a statement by the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club that Barghouti had been transferred from his previous detention location, at the Ofer detention center, to an unknown location a week ago. Also on December 18, the Prisoners’ Affairs Commission and the Prisoners’ Club accused Israel of “forcible disappearance” of Palestinians from Gaza, detained since 7 October.

Barghouti is considered Fatah’s most capable leader and it has been widely suggested that he be released to revitalize the Palestinian National Authority, since he is the most popular leader among Palestinians.

Both organizations called upon international human rights bodies to pressure Israel to release information about Palestinian Gazan detainees. The statement referred to news reports by the Israeli press about the death of some Gazan detainees, the most recent of which was a report by the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz.

“The occupation’s insistence not to reveal the fate of Gaza’s detainees, and to continue to disappear them forcibly, only has one explanation, which is that there is a decision to commit crimes against them away from the public eye,” the statement read.

Those detained included Palestinians from Gaza who were working in Israel and were arrested after the October 7 attacks. Before 7 October, Israel held some 5,000 Palestinians in its jails, including 1,300 without charges or process. Another 4,500 Palestinians have been detained, with about 2,000 of them under administrative detention without charges.