Marwan Barghuti is serving several life terms for involvement in anti-Israeli attacks
An artist finishes a portrait of jailed Palestinian Fatah leader Marwan Barghuti, on a cement barrier near the Qalandia checkpoint, between Jerusalem and Ramallah, in May 2010. In a letter from prison, Barghuti said Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts are dead and called for mass "popular resistance" against Israeli occupation. © Abbas Momani - AFP/File
Marwan Barghuti is serving several life terms for involvement in anti-Israeli attacks
AFP
Last updated: January 4, 2012

Jailed Palestinian leader says peace process dead

Jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghuti has said Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts are dead and called for mass "popular resistance" against Israeli occupation, in a letter penned from prison.

The letter was published on Wednesday, a day after Palestinian and Israeli negotiators held their first face-to-face meeting in more than 15 months in the Jordanian capital.

"The peace process has failed, it's finished, it's not worth desperately trying to resuscitate a corpse," he wrote in the letter published in Palestinian newspapers.

"Consider 2012 as the year of massive peaceful popular resistance against colonialism, aggression, the Judaisation of Jerusalem, the blockade and roadblocks," wrote Barghuti, who is serving several life terms for involvement in anti-Israeli attacks.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met on Tuesday at the initiative of Jordan and the international peacemaking Quartet -- composed of the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia.

The talks were characterised as "positive" though no breakthrough emerged. The Israelis and Palestinians have agreed to meet again in Jordan shortly.

In August, Barghuti told AFP in an interview conducted through his lawyer, that he was fully supportive of a Palestinian bid for full UN membership and also encouraged mass protests against the occupation.

An influential leader with widespread support among the Palestinian public, Barghuti is known for being a lifelong activist who supported the Oslo peace process in the 1990s.

But Israelis accuse him of masterminding the second intifada, or Palestinian uprising, that erupted in 2000.

He was arrested in 2002 and two years later, sentenced to five life terms for murder for his role in several deadly anti-Israeli attacks.

He has since said he never supported attacks on civilians inside Israel and in recent years, has thrown his support behind peaceful resistance.

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