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Naela Khalil

Marwan Barghouti: End all cooperation with Israel

Barghouti, seen here in 2012, said all cooperation must cease [AFP/Getty]

Date of publication: 4 March, 2015

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Analysis: The jailed Fatah leader says Palestinians should work towards unity, stop "all relations" with Israel and push on with the application to join the International Criminal Court.
Marwan Barghouti has called on the Palestine Liberation Organisation to end all co-operation with Israel, push for a national unity government and complete its application to join the International Criminal Court. 

In the statement on Tuesday, the jailed Fatah leader and Palestinian Authority member called on the PLO's
central council to "stop, totally, all forms of relations with the occupying state, including negotiations, political, economic and security relations".

He said there must be a "categorical rejection of returning to the negotiation track", and urged the central council to reach "a consensus on a new national strategy, approved by a national conference of a comprehensive dialogue".

He said that the "rules" of the course which he advocates "includes UN sponsorship, all resolutions of international legitimacy as terms of reference and a time limit of no more than six months".

Barghouti said it was "necessary to complete joining international institutions, agencies and conventions and activating [Palestine's] membership in the International Criminal Court".

His statement comes ahead of a meeting of the PLO's central council.
     Stop totally all forms of relations with the occupying state, including negotiations, political, economic and security relations.
Marwan Barghouti

Barghouti was arrested by Israeli forces in April 2002 at the height of the al-Aqsa Intifada.

He is a highly popular figure among Palestinians across the political spectrum, but was accused by Israel of murder and is serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison.

Barghouti said the PLO should "facilitate its mission", supporting and empowering Palestinians with a national expertise "capable of undertaking the heavy tasks entrusted to it". The PLO should also focus on the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip and the unification of Palestinian institutions, he said.

The possibility of forming a comprehensive national unity government, after internecine spats between Fatah and Hamas, should be "considered".

Barghouti demanded "a serious effort to determine a deadline for presidential and legislative elections in the aftermath of the erosion of the legitimacy of Palestinian institutions and the expiry of their legal terms, as this is considered a national, democratic and legal entitlement and the right of the Palestinian people".

Palestinians in Gaza are governed by Hamas, while Palestinians in the occupied West Bank are governed by the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority. The two groups have expressed a desire to reunite the governments in the face of Israeli aggression and the failing of peace talks.

Palestinian authorities applied to join the ICC and other international institutions after US-brokered talks with Israel on a future Palestinian state failed last year.

Israel has stopped transferring $175 million a month in tax revenues collected on behalf of the PA, in a direct response to the Palestinian efforts to join the ICC.

This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.

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