04/08/2008, 00.00
ISRAEL – PALESTINE
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Cease-fire now to build peace together, Barghouti tells Israelis

The head of Fatah’s military wing writes a message to be read during demonstration to mark the 30 years of ‘Peace Now’. In his letter he says that settlements must stop, Gaza blockade lifted, targeted killings ended and Palestinians must be free to move.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews) – Marwan Barghouti, perhaps the leading Fatah leader who is currently in an Israeli jail, in a letter to Israelis calls for a “total cease-fire” and, together with an overwhelming majority of Palestinians, expressed support for peace and a two-state solution.

Barghouti (in photo) heads Tanzim, Fatah’s military wing. He was sentenced to five life sentences for attacks that Israel considers terrorists.

Palestinians but also Israeli labour party leaders are calling for his release, believing he is the only leader who can bring all Palestinians to a peace accord. He has also the advantage that, unlike Hamas, he has never called for the destruction of Israel.

Barghouti’s message will be read today during a demonstration to mark the 30th anniversary of ‘Peace Now’, Israel’s leading peace organisation.

“I, Marwan Barghouti, am telling you that I and the majority of the Palestinian people are ready for a historic agreement based on international decisions that will allow a Palestinian and Israeli state to coexist, side by side, in peace and stability,” Barghouti wrote in the letter.

To reach this goal the construction of settlements and the confiscation of (Palestinian) lands must cease immediately, the Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem must be reopened, the hundreds of roadblocks that have turned the Palestinian territories into a living hell and destroyed the Palestinian economy must be removed, and the policy of arrests and killings must stop, as must the siege on Gaza,” he said. 

“Israel must also open the border crossings and release thousands of Palestinian detainees,” he added.

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