Barghouti: Schalit is in good condition

October 7, 2007 15:27

Jailed Tanzim leader tells Labor MK Hilu Palestinians want Annapolis parley to be a success.

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Barghouti: Schalit is in good condition

Gilad Schalit 248.88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

"Captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit is being looked after and is in good condition," jailed Fatah Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti told Labor Knesset Member Nadia Hilu during a meeting in Ayalon Prison on Sunday. Barghouti also claimed that he was included on the list of 350 prisoners Hamas was demanding be released in a prisoner swap deal for the captured IDF soldier. He also told Hilu that the Palestinians wanted to make a success of the Annapolis conference and expressed his determination to join the efforts to bring this about. "Barghouti is a man who can influence the Palestinian public, who can open doors and who can bring about changes that other Palestinian figures can't," Hilu told The Jerusalem Post after the meeting. "He's respected by the Palestinians, and also by many of the Israeli Arabs I represent. If freeing him would help get Schalit's release, and if Barghouti will be able to move the peace process forward and be a positive influence toward the summit, then I support his early release." Barghouti was convicted of multiple counts of involvement in killings carried out by the Tanzim during the second intifada. The government has thus far rejected calls to consider him for early release, and Hilu said she had not raised the issue with her fellow Labor party members. In contrast to Barghouti's claim over Schalit's welfare, in an audiotape released by Hamas in June, the captured soldier said that his health was deteriorating and that he was in need of prolonged hospitalization.

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