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Will new Fatah leaders' fluency in Hebrew make a difference?

The Palestinian leaders who were elected for Fatah's Central Committee speak Hebrew fluently, which some analysts say will help break the language barrier during talks with Israelis.
Palestinian Football Association President Jibril Al Rajoub gestures during a news conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah November 5, 2015. Palestine will host this month's home World Cup qualifiers against Saudi Arabia and Malaysia in Jordan, soccer's governing body FIFA said on Thursday. FIFA announced on Wednesday that Palestine could no longer stage the matches at their 12,000-capacity Faisal Al-Husseini stadium on the Israeli-occupied West Bank for security reasons. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman - RTX

By spending years in Israeli jails, the top elected candidates in Fatah’s seventh congress speak fluent Hebrew. Both imprisoned Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti and head of the Palestinian Football Association and former prisoner Jibril Rajoub can read, write and speak the language most Israelis understand.

According to the final election results for Fatah's Central Committee, Barghouti received 936 votes, while Rajoub came in second with 838 votes. Mahmoud Abbas was re-elected on the first day of the congress Nov. 29 by acclamation — so he was not on the ballot. As head of Fatah, Abbas also gets to appoint four additional members to the Central Committee, which is the most powerful body in the movement.

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