Israeli authorities released video evidence that a much-praised Muslim terrorist, who has been touted by Palestinian authorities as being on a hunger strike, is actually eating quite well. Marwan Barghouti, a leader of a hunger strike by Palestinians held in Israeli lockups, is currently serving multiple life sentences for participating in the murder of Israeli citizens during the second Intifada, or Uprising. He has been recorded twice in the act of eating since the strike began.

On April 27, Barghouti was recorded eating cookies after having removed them from a secret hiding place in his lavatory. When he took a peek around himself to determine that no one was watching, he then at the cookies. He then concealed the evidence and washed his face and hands. Then on May 5, Barghouti did much the same. He was recorded eating a candy bar and some salt.

While the Israel Prison Service did not reveal how he got his food, according to Haaretz there are official sources that say Barghouti was set up to find out whether he was actually adhering to his vow of hunger. Barghouti’s lawyer, Elias Sabbagh, reacted to the video and said, “This was expected as part of the psychological and media war the Israel Prison Service is conducting against the prisoners. We can’t address the content of the clip so long as they don’t let us meet with Marwan. Let us visit him and then we will check the claims with him."

“As we’ve said all along, the terrorists’ hunger strike isn’t about their prison conditions, but only about Barghouti’s desire to bolster his status in preparation for the day after Abu Mazen,” said Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. The official was referring to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas by his nickname. “Barghouti is cynically exploiting the terrorists for a hunger strike for which they are paying and will pay a heavy price, while he himself can’t restrain his own appetites.”

Barghouti was sentenced in 2004 to five life sentences after being convicted of murder.

In 2014, Congress heard testimony from several expert witnesses on how Palestinian terrorists are being subsidized by U.S. taxpayers. According to Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), “The Palestinian Authority giving “bags of money to convicted terrorists in Israeli prisons.” Of the 4,500 terrorists serving time in Israeli prisons, many of them are receiving salaries from the Palestinian Authority, said Poe. He noted that terrorists’ salaries range from $500 to $3500 monthly. “The more serious the crimes, the more dead Israelis and Americans, the more money the Palestinians in jail receive,” added Poe. He spoke of the $440 million in U.S. assistance given to the Palestinian Authority during 2013. Since the money is fungible, U.S. funds are thus being used in a “jobs program” for terrorists, said Poe. “U.S. tax money should not be seen paying and rewarding Palestinian terrorists or doing harm and killing Israelis and Americans,” Poe added.



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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