Contrary to earlier vows by Hamas that they would never accept a deal for Shalit that didn't include Mr. Barghouti, he will remain in prison. Barghouti is the head of the armed wing of Fatah, known as Tanzim, and remains a prominent Fatah leader, even in prison. He is widely perceived as one of the leaders of the second Intifada that began in 2000 and was given five life sentences for his role in the death of four Israelis and a Greek-Orthodox monk, who were shot in Tel Aviv.
Barghouti is one of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s biggest rivals within Fatah and his release would likely pose a threat to Abbas’s hold on power. He is seen as one of the few people who could possibly unite disparate Palestinian factions.