STOP YOUR BANKING ON THE ‘MIRAGE OF NEGOTIATIONS’ – urges Marwan Al-Barghouthi

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JAILED Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi, the leader of the Second Intifada, has urged the Palestinian leadership to give its backing to armed resistance to end the Israeli occupation.

In a letter sent from his cell in the Israeli Hadarim Prison on 11 November, Prisoner Marwan al-Barghouthi, member of the Fatah Central Committee, called for ‘rehabilitating the option of resistance’ as it is the shortest way to defeat the occupation and win freedom, return, and independence.

In his letter from cell No 28 on the 10th anniversary of the martyrdom of President Yasser Arafat, Al-Barghouthi called for reconsidering the functions and tasks of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) so that its first and main mission would be to support all-out resistance.

‘This requires the immediate halt of security coordination and security cooperation, which strengthen the occupation and cause grave harm to the national interests of the Palestinian people,’ he stressed.

The Fatah Central Committee member also stressed the need for the official Palestinian leadership to adopt the boycott movement against Israel.

He said that the assassination of President Arafat was an official Israeli-US decision in the wake of a continuing military and political blockade to abort the blessed intifada of Al-Aqsa and strike the resistance and the unity of the Palestinian people.

‘The matter does not need staff and inquiry committees for ten years to reach this truth,’ he observed.~

Barghouthi added that ‘since the assassination of Yasser Arafat and until now and despite all the attempts and promises to force the Palestinian people to give up their national constants and legitimate rights, they are still steadfast and determined to win their freedom and independence.

‘Besides, all the attempts that have taken place to abandon the approach of all-out resistance have failed.’

He pointed out that the steadfastness of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and their valiant resistance and the uprising of our people in beloved Jerusalem provide yet another piece of evidence of the failure of these attempts.

He said that adhering to the legacy of Yasser Arafat and his principles and constants, which he and tens of thousands were martyred for, can be through continuing the march of national reconciliation on correct foundations, accomplishing national unity, supporting the national consensus government, and adhering to the option of ‘all-out resistance and the rifle’, which was in the hands of Yasser Arafat, Abu-Jihad, Ahmad Yasin, Al-Shaqaqi, Abu-Ali Mustafa, Al-Karmi, and Al-Ja’bari when they were martyred.

Al-Barghouthi called for adopting a courageous and immediate decision to go to the UN Security Council and to join all international organisations and agencies, led by the International Criminal Court, and to stop wagering on the mirage of negotiations.

He sent a greeting of pride and veneration to the popular uprising in Jerusalem, calling on the Palestinian people to support it in the West Bank, Gaza, inside Israel, in the diaspora, and in the Arab and Muslim worlds ‘because the battle of Al-Aqsa and the Islamic and Christian holy sites is the battle of Palestine and the battle of freedom, return, and independence’.

Al-Barghouthi called on PNA agencies and the agencies of Palestinian security to protect and support the demonstrations and marches that support the uprising of our people in Jerusalem.

He called on all political, social, economic, and cultural forces and personalities and institutions to hold a national conference and hold a strategic dialogue to crystallise a unified Palestinian vision and strategy with the participation of everybody as a prelude to holding legislative, presidential, and Palestine National Council elections.

Concluding his letter, Al-Barghouthi condemned the targeting of Fatah leaders in the Gaza Strip, calling on the security agencies to hunt down and punish those involved and to enable the national consensus government to carry out its tasks in the Gaza Strip.

He called on the masses of the Palestinian people to participate widely in commemorating the 10th anniversary of Arafat’s martyrdom all over the country.

In his speech to mark the tenth anniversary of President Arafat’s death, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas vowed Palestinians ‘will not give up’ Jerusalem.

He declared that ‘brother martyr Abu-Ammar (Yasser Arafat) … lives within us in our conscience. We stand before the person who gave his life until the last breath to the cause of his people.

‘He guided us, and we arrived with him, at what had seemed to be impossible, our return to the soil of our homeland, Palestine, on the path of independence and the establishment of our state, with Jerusalem as its capital.

‘Here, I reiterate what brother Abu-Ammar used to repeat: None of us would give up a grain of soil of Jerusalem and Palestine.

‘Brothers and sisters: The leaders of Israel make a grave mistake if they think that history can go backward and that they can today impose a fait accompli and divide Al-Aqsa Mosque in time and place as they did stealthily to Al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron …

‘We will not accept any claims. Jerusalem is our capital and we will not give it up. Jerusalem, which was occupied in 1967, is our capital. We will maintain it and we will protect our sanctities.

‘We are all stationed, along with the sons of Jerusalem, the heroes, Muslims and Christians, in the face of the daily raids and attacks by fanatic settlers and their protectors from the forces of the Israeli occupation army …’

‘If they are attacked by any party, they have the right to defend themselves and defend their sanctities. We are asking you to remove those settlers, extremists, and others from Al-Aqsa Mosque and from our sanctities.

‘We will not allow for our sanctities to be polluted. Remove them from us and we will be removed from them, and God will spare the believers any fight. But for them to enter Al-Aqsa, those people will protect Al-Aqsa, the Church, and the whole country.’

Abbas went on to declare: ‘Each Palestinian who wants to defend his cause is welcome. This is why you find this national coalition in the PLO, which is a broad coalition that includes everybody to serve the goal of everybody, which is the liberation of Palestine.’

He stressed: ‘The PLO shall remain for the liberation of Palestine in the near future.’

He said that Yasser Arafat, ‘until he was martyred’, led the PLO ‘under the darkest conditions’.

Abbas said: ‘He moved our cause from the symbolism of the Palestinian refugee camp to the Palestinian struggler in a national liberation movement, which returned us to the soil of the homeland.’

Abbas declared: ‘We are currently preparing for obtaining a UNSC resolution to set a deadline for ending the occupation. We are also seeking to join the various international organisations …’

Abbas stressed: ‘We absolutely do not accept settlement activity from the first stone that was built on our land and until today. We will not accept it and we consider it illegitimate and illegal. Israel has to remove it so that the land of Palestine will remain free from this settlement activity.’

Addressing the people of Gaza, Abbas said: ‘We and you are one body, and we will continue to work tirelessly and do our utmost to remove the Gaza Strip and its people from this unjust blockade and to embark on reconstruction, and before and after that, to end the division.

‘We will continue the efforts to end the division. We told the whole world when they used to criticise us for holding dialogue with Hamas, saying that they are such and such, we used to tell them that those are part of our people and part of our kinsmen. We have to be together.’