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last updated Jan. 9, 2010 1:4 PM (EST+7)
Mustafa Barghouthi
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Palestinian politics Palestinian National Initiative health Palestinian civil society human rights
Mustafa Barghouthi was minister of information in the national unity government between March and June 2007. He was head of the Palestinian National Initiative (al-Mubadara) and a member of the Independent Palestine Bloc in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC).

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Barghouthi was born in 1954 in Jerusalem. He studied medicine at Moscow University, graduating in 1978. He returned to Jerusalem and worked as a physician at al-Maqassed Hospital and became a member of the Palestinian Communist Party (later known as the Palestinian People’s Party). In 1979 he co-founded the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees (UPMRC) and in 1983 he became its voluntary chairman. He later obtained a BA in philosophy and MA in business administration and management from Stanford University in the United States. Since 1990 he has been director of the Health, Development, Information and Policy Institute (HDIP) in Ramallah.

He was a member of the steering committee for the delegation to the multilateral peace negotiations in the early 1990s and was one of the delegates involved in the Madrid peace negotiations initiated in 1991. However, he resigned from the delegation in protest against the course the negotiations were taking in that they led to the Oslo Accords and the continuation of Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Barghouthi was among the founders of the Grassroots International Protection for the Palestinian People (GIPP).

He ran unsuccessfully in the 1996 elections to the PLC in Ramallah. He was leader of the PPP and its representative to the Palestinian National Council (PNC) until he co-launched the Palestinian National Initiative (al-Mubadara) with Ibrahim Daqqaq, Haidar Abdel Shafi and the late Edward Said. He then became secretary general and spokesperson for the Palestinian National Initiative. He was arrested in 2002 and was prevented from entering Jerusalem, his hometown, by the Israeli authorities.

Barghouthi was one of the leading members in the campaign against the Wall in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague. He was also a member of the International Solidarity Movement with the Palestinian people, and the international campaign to impose sanctions on Israel. He has written many articles focusing on civil society and health development in Palestine. He is a high profile figure in the international scene, particularly with Arab and European news agencies. He has participated in several speaking tours while lecturing at different universities. In 2002 he was awarded the International Health Organization’s prize, and the award for defending Palestinian human rights from the Struggle Against Racial Discrimination Organization.

He ran in the 2004 presidential elections and received almost a fifth of the vote. In the 2005 Palestinian Authority (PA) elections he nominated himself as an independent candidate after the passing away of Yasser Arafat.

Barghouthi was a leading negotiator between the two main Palestinian political factions, Hamas and Fateh, during the recent violence.
Sources
Al Mubadara - official website
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