Arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti is warning Israel against a third Arab intifada (uprising) - but not an armed one.
Speaking to Channel 10 News from his Israeli jail cell, where he is serving five life sentences for his role in planning suicide terror attacks, Barghouti said, "If the occupation continues, then a third intifada - an unarmed, popular one - will occur."
The interview with Barghouti, his first one with an Israeli journalist since being jailed, took place towards the end of Israel's anti-terror Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza, but Israel's defense establishment refused to allow Channel 10 to air it in full, so the channel's Arab affairs analyst Tzvi Yehezkeli, who conducted the interview, presented selected quotes from it on Wednesday.
Barghouti, a member of Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement, claimed Israel was not interested in reaching a peace agreement with the Arabs.
"Abbas is the best partner you could have," said Barghouti. "He said he would give up on returning to Tzfat. This is his personal opinion, it is not my opinion. I would not give up and I claim that the right of return is a sacred right of the Palestinians."
"If Abbas hadn't gone to the UN, he would have gone home. He had no choice. You see the polls and understand that I am Abbas's replacement," he added, referring to recent PA polls which indicated he was more popular among voters than Abbas.
"Israel has proven that it does not want peace," declared Barghouti. "We made mistakes in the Second Intifada, but you can understand the Arab Spring won't skip over us. When I'm president and Israel agrees to a two state solution based on the pre-1967 borders and that the capital of Palestine will be east Jerusalem, I will make sure that Hamas does not carry out terror attacks. They have agreed to this and we even formulated an agreement here in prison."
"The rockets helped Hamas and are a good thing," he said when asked whether he is in favor of firing rockets into Israel from PA-assigned areas of Judea and Samaria. "But I cannot say that using them in any situation, as Hamas did, is a good thing. Hamas became stronger from Operation Pillar of Defense. You finished off Jaabari but the rockets surprised you and in the end you strengthened Hamas. You Israelis only understand force."
Barghouti has in the past called from his jail cell for “resistance,” the Arab code word for violence.
"The launch of large-scale popular resistance at this stage serves the cause of our people,” Barghouti said in a statement published on Arab websites in March.
He also called for "stopping all forms of security and economic coordination (with Israel) in all areas immediately."