Marwan Barghouti
Marwan Barghouti Flash 90

Arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti urged the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership to give its backing to "armed resistance" against Israel in a letter published Tuesday as a wave of violence surged, according to AFP

The call came after months of clashes in and around Jerusalem and a growing number of deadly terror attacks by lone individuals.

So far, the Palestinian leadership has been ambivalent on how to respond to the attacks, with some top PA officials encouraging the violence - as well as, obviously, Hamas and Islamic Jihad - but others publicly denying outright support for the attacks.

In a letter to mark 10 years since the death of PLO leader and fellow arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat, Barghouti said that "choosing global and armed resistance" was being "faithful to Arafat's legacy, to his ideas and his principles for which tens of thousands died as martyrs."

Barghouti, who is widely believed to have masterminded the second intifada, which exploded across Israel from 2000 to 2005, wrote the letter from his cell in Israel's Hadarim prison where he is serving five life sentences for attacks on innocent Israeli civilians.

A senior figure within the Fatah movement of PA Chairman Mahmud Abbas, Barghouti was arrested in 2002 and sentenced two years later.

He still wields huge influence from inside prison and is considered the only serious challenger to Abbas as president, with surveys regularly naming him as favorite to win elections should he be released from jail.

"It is imperative to reconsider our choice of resistance as a way of defeating the occupier," he wrote.

There has been increasing talk of a new intifada in the making following months of clashes in Jerusalem and the series of deadly attacks.

The unrest has recently spread into Israel, with two Israelis killed in two separate stabbing attackson Monday.

With religious tensions also surging at the flashpoint Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem, Judaism's holiest site, Barghouti urged
the Palestinian leadership to take action and make good on threats to end security cooperation with Israel.

"The Palestinian Authority must review its priorities and its mission... and put an immediate end to security cooperation which is only strengthening the occupier," he said.

He also remarked on the circumstances of Arafat's death, saying his "assassination" was the result of "an official Israeli-American decision". Arafat died in a military hospital near Paris on November 11, 2004; the Palestinians have long claimed that it was a deliberate poisoning.