Former Fatah leader in the West Bank Marwan Barghouti was transferred on Wednesday to solitary confinement in the prison where he is being held, after a letter he smuggled on Tuesday urged Palestinians to "reconsider the option of armed resistance".
A disciplinary hearing held in Israel's Hadarim prison also decided to fine the Palestinian leader hundreds of shekels. The Israel Prison Service determined that the contents of the letter incited violence, and explained that they are treating the letter as if it was an interview conducted without permission.
"Choosing global and armed resistance" means being "faithful to Arafat's legacy, to his ideas, and his principles for which tens of thousands died as martyrs, Palestinian news agency Maan cited Barghouti as writing in the letter.
The 55-year-old Palestinian political figure, who has been imprisoned in Israel since 2002 after being convicted of five counts of murder and is considered to be the enemy of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, has recently urged the Palestinian leadership to support violent resistance.
"It is imperative to reconsider our choice of resistance as a way of defeating the occupier," the Palestinian newspaper further quoted the letter as saying. "The Palestinian Authority must review its priorities and its mission ... and put an immediate end to security cooperation which is only strengthening the occupier," he said.
Barghouti remains a leading figure in the secular Fatah movement and is often mentioned as a potential future leader despite being behind bars. He rose to prominence as an instigator of the first and second intifadas, or uprisings, against Israel from 1987-1993 and in the early 2000s.
For years, supporters have been hoping he might be freed in a prisoner-release deal with Israel, but it remains unlikely.
Even from prison, his views resonate with some sectors of the Palestinian public, and he has support from a variety of factions, not just Fatah.