RAMALLAH, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- A Palestinian cabinet minister met on Thursday one of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas-led Fatah party's senior leaders in an Israeli prison to discuss the upcoming general elections in Palestine.
The meeting was between Hussein al-Sheikh, Palestinian minister of civil affairs, and Fatah senior leader Marwan Barghouti, who serves life imprisonment in an Israeli jail.
Nabil Shaath, an aide to Abbas, told Xinhua that the meeting aims at agreeing on a unified Fatah list that races in the general elections.
"The meeting between al-Sheikh and Barghouti focused on backing President Abbas as Fatah's sole candidate in the presidential elections due on July 31," Shaath said.
The Israeli media earlier reported that Israel has allowed al-Sheikh to visit Barghouti in prison, who is serving a life sentence for plotting violent attacks that claimed the lives of Israeli soldiers and civilians.
The report said that al-Sheikh met with Barghouti to convince him not to race in the upcoming presidential elections against Abbas to keep the unity of Fatah party.
Israel arrested Barghouti, 63, from his home in a village near Ramallah in April 2002, and accused him of leading the Fatah party's armed wing al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the West Bank.
In a decree issued in mid-January, Abbas announced that the 2021 general election will include legislative elections on May 22, presidential elections on July 31, and the Palestinian National Council elections on Aug. 31. Enditem