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Page last updated at 12:52 GMT, Sunday, 16 August 2009 13:52 UK

Israeli wins Fatah top body seat

Uri Davis
Mr Davis has been a harsh critic of Israel for years

A Jewish-born Israeli has been elected to the governing body of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party.

Uri Davis, 66, an academic who is married to a Palestinian, is an outspoken critic of what he calls Israel's "apartheid policies".

As the only Israeli member of the Revolutionary Council he says he wants to represent non-Arab people who support the Palestinian cause.

He called for an international campaign to boycott Israel to be toughened up.

Dr Davis said his Israeli citizenship made no difference to his election.

FROM BBC WORLD SERVICE

"Within the conference itself the welcome was most heartfelt and enthusiastic - the Fatah movement is an open, international movement - membership is not conditional on ethnic origin, it's conditional on agreement with the main part of the Fatah political programme," he told the BBC News website.

Dr Davis said he did not define himself as Jewish but as "a Palestinian Hebrew national of Jewish origin, anti-Zionist, registered as Muslim and a citizen of an apartheid state - the State of Israel".

Fatah congress delegates cast their votes

He was one of around 700 Fatah members competing for 89 open seats in the body, which oversees the group's day-to-day decision making.

Others elected to Fatah's revolutionary council included Fadwa Barghouti, the wife of the senior Fatah figure, Marwan Barghouti, who was jailed by Israel five years ago for the murder of five people.

The old guard of Fatah retained only four of the 18 elected seats. The rest went to younger men.



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