Palestinian Authority terrorist Marwan Barghouti, considered the most popular PA leader, has called from his jail cell for “resistance,” the Arab code word for violence.
In a statement released Monday and published on Arab websites, Barghouti said, "The launch of large-scale popular resistance at this stage serves the cause of our people.” He also called for "stopping all forms of security and economic coordination (with Israel) in all areas immediately."
He is serving five life sentences for planning and involvement in some of the worse terrorist attacks during the Intifadas and was convicted for responsibility in the murder of dozens of Jews. Several Israel governments have resisted attempts by Israeli political and academic leaders to free him.
“His leadership and charisma were seen as a driving force behind the last intifada, or uprising, against Israeli occupation launched in late 2000,” wrote the Bethlehem-based Ma'an news agency.
Barghouti is a leading figure in the Fatah movement, headed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, and he occasionally has been mentioned as a candidate to replace Abbas.
"Stop marketing the illusion that there is a possibility of ending the occupation and achieving a state through negotiations after this vision has failed miserably," wrote Barghouti in a message that was to be read at a rally in Ramallah, the headquarters of the PA.
Barghouti previously has said he urged "civil disobedience” and not violence, but Palestinian Authority media incitement have left the “street” to understand “resistance” as meaning attacks on Jews in the name of a PA state.
Ma'an wrote, “The call to action comes at a combustible period in the West Bank, occupied by Israel since a war in 1967, as economic malaise, moribund diplomacy, and simmering popular discontent bode ill for any peaceful breakthroughs."
“Some fear that planned Palestinian commemorations of an annual protest against Israeli land confiscations on Friday, including marches to Jerusalem, could erupt in violence.
"A 40-day long hunger strike by female detainee Hana Shalabi and a similar campaign by dozens of other Palestinians in Israeli custody are also firing popular anger.”