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Mustafa Barghouthi: the Arabs gave Netanyahu timeout four months; he gave four hours

February 27, 2014 at 12:00 pm


The Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative has called for the reversal of the decision to reopen negotiations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose government has announced the construction of 112 housing units in an illegal settlement on the occupied West Bank. Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi said that the Palestinians were giving Netanyahu a “timeout” for four months with regards to settlement building, but he did not even give the Palestinians four hours. In what Dr. Barghouti calls “acts of provocation”, the Israeli government has announced in quick succession the proposed new settlement building, similar units in occupied Jerusalem, the decision to incorporate important West Bank mosques as “Israeli national heritage sites” and brutal acts of repression against Palestinians demonstrating against the occupying authority’s actions.

Dr. Barghouti said that in the light of these acts, there is an urgent need to review and reverse the decision to negotiate with such an “arrogant, racist” government. “A change in the balance of power in the country can only be achieved through the restoration of national unity,” he added, “which can then give the impetus to a popular resistance campaign.” Such a campaign, he claims, will cause real concern in Israel as would legal penalties for the Netanyahu government.

According to Dr. Barghouthi, the failure of the international community to force Israel to abandon its policy of settlement is responsible for its behaviour. However, even with the world’s silence and the indirect negotiations, he believes that Netanyahu will continue to provoke unrest as he is not really interested in a genuine peace. “The agenda is clear; Israel wants Palestine to be no more than a series of cantons and disconnected territory.”