Dr. Mustafa Barghouti

Mustafa Barghouti (Arabic: مصطفى البرغوثي‎, strict transliteration Muṣṭafā al-Barġūṯī, also transcribed Mustafa Barghouthi, Mustafa Al Barghuthi; born 1954) is a Palestinian democracy activist. He was a candidate for the presidency of the Palestinian National Authority in 2005, finishing second to Mahmoud Abbas, with 19% of the vote.

In 1979, Barghouti founded the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees, a non-governmental organization which provides health care and related services in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He continues to serve as the Union's president. In 1989, Barghouti was one of the founders of the Health, Development, Information and Policy Institute, a think tank representing an alliance of 90 Palestinian community organizations. In 1991, Barghouti was a delegate to the Madrid Conference, which was held with the aim of ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the First Intifada. In 1996, he ran unsuccessfully as a candidate for a legislative seat in the first Palestinian Authority elections. In 2002 Barghouti left the Palestinian People's Party. In June 2002, Barghouti, Haidar Abdel-Shafi, Ibrahim Dakkak and Edward Said established the Palestinian National Initiative (al-Mubadara al-Wataniyya al-Filistiniyya), an attempt to build a reformist, inclusive alternative to both the established Palestine Liberation Organization and to Islamic militant groups such as Hamas. Barghouti currently serves as the Initiative's general secretary. In 1996, Barghouti was injured while assisting victims of a violent clash between protestors and Israeli Defense Force soldiers in Ramallah. IDF soldiers fired near an area where medical personnel were working and shrapnel entered his shoulder. On January 3, 2003, he was arrested following an international press conference in East Jerusalem, on charges of disturbing the peace and entering the city illegally. During his detention, Barghouti was interrogated and suffered a broken knee, which, according to his account, was inflicted by blows from a rifle butt; he also reported that he received head injuries. He was released several days later.

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