Note: this biography may be incomplete or out
of date. Extension/update suggestions are welcome.
Sheikh Omar al-Barghouthi, a senior Hamas official, and a noted figure of the captive movement, from his home in Kobar town, northwest of Ramallah.
Maan reports (4 September 2016):
military court at the Ofer detention center west of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank on
Sunday decided to extend the administrative detention of 63-year-old Palestinian prisoner Omar
Barghouthi, most recently held without trial or charge since November after more than two
decades of periodic detentions by Israel.
A statement from the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) quoted one of its lawyers Ahmad
Safiyya as saying that Sunday’s court order was the fourth time Barghouthi's remand has been
extended since he was detained on Nov. 19, 2015.
In a previous hearing, the court recommended extending Barghouthi’s detention for three more
months, but the sentence was reduced to two months.
Barghouthi is from the village of Kubar north of Ramallah. He has six children and ten
grandchildren, and has spent about 26 years of his life in Israeli custody between prison sentences
and administrative detentions.
He is reportedly a senior leader in the Hamas movement. Members of Hamas, which is designated as
a terrorist organization by Israel, are routinely targeted during the near-nightly detention raids
conducted by Israeli forces across the occupied West Bank.
Barghouthi was previously re-detained in June 2014 during a large-scale detention campaign in the
occupied West Bank after three teenage Israeli settlers were kidnapped and murdered.
A previous arrest in 2010 saw Barghouthi’s administrative detention renewed at least six times
without Israeli authorities charging him or explaining the allegations brought against him. Ma’an
reported in 2012 that Barghouthi's son Assam was also imprisoned in Ofer's military jail,
serving an 11-year sentence.
Omar Barghouthi’s brother Nael was also the longest serving prisoner in Israeli jails before his
release in Nov. 2011 as part of a swap deal to free Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for
more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.