Barghouti release sought

The Palestinian Authority confirmed that jailed legislator Marwan Barghouti appears on a list of prisoners that Israel has been asked to release in exchange for a captive Israeli soldier.

Hamas, whose gunmen were involved in the abduction of Corporal Gilad Shalit last June, said Sunday it had submitted its list to Israel, but did not give further details.

Israeli media reported that the roster includes Barghouti, who is serving five life prison terms for masterminding terrorist attacks by the Al-Aksa Brigades.

This was confirmed Monday by Palestinian Authority Information Minister Mustafa Barghouti, a distant relative of the inmate.

Marwan Barghouti is a senior member of Fatah, a relatively moderate Palestinian Authority faction. While some Israeli officials have suggested that he should be freed as part of efforts to cultivate a new peace partner, this has been ruled out by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

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