Photo: AP
Barghouti. 'Involved in terror up to his neck'
Photo: AP
MK Uri Ariel
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
Kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit
Reproduction photo
If Barghouti is freed gov't will go bankrupt, MK says
Right-wing Knesset Member Uri Ariel arrives at Temple Mount, addresses possibility that former Tanzim leader will be released from jail as part of Gilad Shalit deal. 'I hope reports are false,' he says
If Marwan Barghouti is released the government will go bankrupt, Knesset Member Uri Ariel (National Union-National Religious Party) said Sunday morning.


Ariel addressed the possibility that the former Tanzim leader in the West Bank would be released in exchange for the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.


"If it's true that Barhgouti will be released as part of the Shalit deal – and I hope it's not – and if anyone plans to release a murderer who received five life sentences in jail, this will be the government's final failure, and it should quit before going bankrupt," the MK said.


Ariel spoke as he arrived at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in a bid to pray at the place. Police prevented him from ascending the Mount, saying that he was planning to pray there alone.


Ariel disagreed with the decision, saying that "the police are using force against a Knesset member without any authority or permission, and are setting a bad example.


"In any event, I plan to ascend the Temple Mount today, and I have already appealed to the internal security minister on the matter. This is an unreasonable, irresponsible and very unfortunate decision," he added.


Sentenced to 5 consecutive life sentences

Barghouti was captured during military activity in Ramallah in April 2002, as part of Operation Defensive Shield. His arrest was carried out after he was pursued by IDF and Shin Bet forces for a long time and was eventually located not far from the office of former Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat.


Soldiers besieged the house he was hiding in and called on Barghouti to surrender. Palestinians who were in the building turned themselves in to the troops, claiming that there was no one else inside, but the soldiers did not believe them and captured the former Tanzim leader inside the house.


Barghouti stood trial in Israel, and two years after his arrest was convicted for the murder of five Israelis in four terror attacks. He was also found guilty of attempted murder and membership in a terrorist organization.


The prosecutor requested the court in the original indictment to convict him in the murder of 37 people, but the court rejected the allegations due to lack of evidence.


Two months later, Barghouti was sentenced to five consecutive life sentences plus 20 years for attempted murder and another 20 for active membership in a terrorist organization.


"He was involved in terrorist activity up to his neck and the moral responsibility for the death of many people is on his shoulders," said the judges.


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