Last Updated: Tue Apr 03, 2012 08:24 am (KSA) 05:24 am (GMT)

Jailed Palestinian leader sanctioned for ‘peaceful resistance’ appeal

Marwan Barghouti, a leading figure in the two Intifadas, or uprisings against Israeli occupation, waged by the Palestinians since 1987, was convicted of murder for his role in attacks on Israelis and jailed for life by Israel in 2004 during the second Intifada. (Reuters)
Marwan Barghouti, a leading figure in the two Intifadas, or uprisings against Israeli occupation, waged by the Palestinians since 1987, was convicted of murder for his role in attacks on Israelis and jailed for life by Israel in 2004 during the second Intifada. (Reuters)

Jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti has been punished by Israeli prison authorities after launching an appeal for “peaceful resistance,” public radio said late Sunday.

Barghouti, a former secretary general of the Fatah party led by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, was put in solitary confinement without saying how long the sanctions would be in place, according to AFP news agency,

“I appeal to the great Palestinian people for unity, cohesion, the creation of a government of national unity, and to pursue its peaceful resistance to end the occupation” by Israel, Barghouti had told the press on Wednesday when he appeared before a Jerusalem court as a witness.

Marwan Barghouti, a former secretary general of the Fatah party led by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, was put in solitary confinement after his protest. (Reuters)

A lifelong activist who supported the Oslo peace process in the 1990s, Barghouti is widely believed to have masterminded the second Palestinian intifada that erupted in 2000.

He was arrested in April 2002 and two years later was handed five life terms for his role in several deadly anti-Israeli attacks.

Barghouti has since said he never supported attacks on civilians inside Israel and in recent years has thrown his support behind peaceful resistance.

Last week, Barghouti urged the Palestinian Authority to “end all forms of coordination” with Israel in a letter to mark 10 years since his arrest.

In the letter, which was published late on Monday, Barghouti also called on Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to recognize that negotiations with Israel were not working.

“I call on the Palestinian Authority to end all forms of coordination, security and economic, with the occupation,” wrote Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences for his role in anti-Israeli attacks.

“The job of the Palestinian security services is to provide security and protection to Palestinian citizens, not to protect the occupation,” said the man widely recognized as the driving force behind the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, and who still commands great respect among Palestinians.

The letter also called on Abbas to “stop marketing the illusion that it is possible to end the occupation through these negotiations.”

‘Diplomatic terror’

Amid recent Palestinian demonstrations, Israel’s deputy foreign minister on Saturday said an annual protest Palestinians mounted over the weekend is “diplomatic terrorism.”

Danny Ayalon said Land Day protests are “a continuation of the diplomatic terrorism (Palestinian Authority President) Abu Mazen is using against Israel in international forums.”

Palestinians have held Land Day demonstrations since 1976 to protest what they say is discriminatory Israeli land policy. On Friday about 2,000 Arab-Israelis demonstrated in northern Israel, where much of Israel’s Arab minority lives. Israeli troops killed one protester in the Gaza Strip, and other supporters marched in Jordan and Lebanon.

Another 200 activists marched Saturday in Jaffa, the historically Arab quarter of Tel Aviv.

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