Ramallah: Marwan Barghouti, the jailed leader of the Palestinian uprising, has swept aside his rivals in the ruling Fatah party's primaries to run in legislative elections in January.

The news comes as a prominent Israeli politician yesterday called on Israel to release jailed Palestinian uprising leader Marwan Barghouti.

The jailed Fatah chief won 96 per cent of the vote in the poll in Ramallah, defeating more than 40 other rivals.

Yossi Beilin, head of the dovish Meretz-Yahad party, said the Fatah election results underscored Barghouti's leadership potential and that it was time for Israel to release him.

"I think today there is no doubt that he is one of the top leaders in the Palestinian street," Beilin said.

"Today he can be a moderating and positive influence. Therefore I think it would be right for the government to ask the President to pardon him."

Barghouti was handed five life sentences in 2004 after being convicted of taking part in attacks on Israeli targets.