Israel actions to ignite a never-edning war, says jailed Palestinian leader
Imprisoned Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti says Israeli acts of violence against Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories threaten to change the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis to a never-ending war.
In an article published on The Guardian site on Sunday, Barghouti warned that the regime’s attacks, in particular around the al-Aqsa Mosque in East al-Quds (Jerusalem), threaten to “transform a solvable political conflict into a never-ending” war that will “only further undermine stability in a region already experiencing unprecedented turmoil.”
The al-Aqsa Mosque along with its surrounding compound in the Israeli-occupied Old City of al-Quds is a flashpoint. The site is Islam’s third holiest place and is revered by Christians and Jews as well.
The Tel Aviv regime has tried to change the demographic makeup of al-Quds over the past decades by constructing illegal settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population.
It has recently moved to toughen the measures against Palestinian stone-throwers in al-Quds defending themselves against armed Israeli troops, broadening rules to allow military forces to target Palestinians with live bullets.
There has been growing confrontation between Israelis and Palestinians over the past few weeks.
The tensions were triggered by the Tel Aviv regime’s imposition on August 26 of sweeping restrictions on entries into the compound of the al-Aqsa Mosque and Israeli settlers’ repeated stormings of the mosque.
At least 25 Palestinians have been killed and over 1,300 others injured by Israeli troops in the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip since October 1.
In the article, Barghouti also called on the international community to tackle the Israel-Palestine conflict, the root cause of which he said is the Israeli occupation.
“The real problem is that Israel has chosen occupation over peace and used negotiations as a smoke screen to advance its colonial project,” he wrote.
“Every day colonialism advances, the siege on our people in Gaza continues, [and] oppression and humiliation persist. As many want us today to be overwhelmed by the potential consequences of a new spiral of violence, I will continue, as I did back in 2002, pleading to deal with its root causes: denial of Palestinian freedom,” he added.
The prominent leader praised the new Palestinian generation for resisting the Israeli occupation, saying “it is doing so unarmed, while being confronted by one of the biggest military powers in the world.”
The detained leader was the mastermind of the second Palestinian intifada (uprising) which lasted from 2000 to 2005, and is serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison for his alleged role in attacks against Israelis.