'The current intifada has killed economic peace'

Senior PLO official vows current terror wave will only grow, says it has thwarted Netanyahu's concept of peace through financial perks.

Dalit Halevi,

Mustafa Barghouti (center)
Mustafa Barghouti (center)
Flash 90

Mustafa Barghouti, the general secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative (PNI) movement and a leading figure in the movement to boycott Israel, has voiced opposition to Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's call for an international peace conference.

Barghouti has received international support as being a "moderate" Palestinian figure; he is a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization's (PLO) Central Committee and is considered to have been a leader of both the First and Second Intifada terror wars.

In an interview with the Hamas paper Palestine on Sunday, he said Abbas's idea of holding an international conference for "peace" so as to pressure Israel has no place in the current political reality.

He said the current Arab terror wave, which he termed an intifada, will continue and will not stop. Going a step further, he said the terror attacks are giving expression to a new positive situation in which the "Palestinian nation" recognizes it is not in a stage of finding a solution with the "Zionist movement," but rather one of conducting a struggle for "national rights."

According to Barghouti, the "achievements" of the bloody terror wave since last September first of all include a prevention of the division of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, noting that the Israeli government has backtracked on holding a discussion of alternating access for Jews and Muslims to the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism.

A similar alternating system is in place at the Cave of Machpelah in Hevron where the Jewish patriarchs and matriarchs other than Rachel are buried, and those calling for its implementation at the Temple Mount suggest the system so as to grant Jews freedom of worship, as the Jordanian Waqf currently remains in de facto control of the site and bans Jewish prayer.

Barghouti also listed a return of the spirit of the "struggle" to the Palestinian Arabs as an additional "achievement."

Finally he emphasized that the terror wave has thwarted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's "economic peace" concept, which postulates that the Arab population would stop turning to terror and give up on national aspirations of replacing Israel if it received more financial perks and benefits to raise its standard of living.

Aside from Netanyahu, this concept has long been aired among members of the Knesset, and recently has also been given backing by coalition members who identify with the political right-wing.