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Palestinian leadership race gains momentum

Palestinian leadership race gains momentum
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At Yasser Arafat’s grave hundreds of Palestinians continue to file past, paying their respects to the guerrilla and Nobel Peace Prize winner who inspired their fight for an independent state.

And the search is now on to find a successor to their charismatic leader.Jailed Fatah boss Marwan Barghouti would be many Palestinians’ choice. Current prime minister Ahmed Qurie says he would not oppose Barghouti’s candidacy: “Nothing is against, it will be discussed, when he decided, but nothing is against. Anybody can nominate himself as a candidate for the president of the PA,” he told reporters. With the issue of whether Arabs in east Jerusalem can vote already sparking a row, the Israelis have ruled out Barghouti for president. Israeli minister Tzahi Hanegbi said: “Barghouti is a killer, he was convicted and he was sentenced to five life time emprisonements, there is no way he will be able to participate in political elections while serving his time in jail, maybe in 100 years.” Barghouti is considered a leading figure in the Palestinian uprising. He was jailed for life by Israel in June after being found guilty of involvement in four anti-Israeli attacks.