First Published: 2003-06-02

 
Barghuti quotes Sharon in own defence
 

Fatah leader demands Israel apologise for 36 years of occupation of Palestinian territories in Israeli court.

 

Middle East Online

Barghuti reiterated his rejection of the court's right to try him

TEL AVIV - Marwan Barghuti, the Fatah chief for the West Bank, quoted Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in his own defence in an Israeli court on Monday, taking the prosecution by surprise.

"How can you take us to court for our struggle against occupation when even your prime minister recognises its evil deeds?" the firebrand of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah group asked the judges.

Barghuti demanded the Israeli government "apologise for the 36 years of occupation" of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, territories which the Jewish state seized in the 1967 Middle East war.

Sharon had said last week that Israel could not go on inflicting an "occupation regime" on 3.5 million Palestinians and warned of its negative effects on both sides.

Following an outcry his comments caused among his right-wing supporters, the prime minister revised his words and stressed the appropriate term was "the disputed territories".

The court session also heard the last two witnesses of the prosecution in the nine-month-old trial: a policeman and an agent of the Shin Beth internal security services, who spoke behind closed doors.

Barghuti reiterated his rejection of the court's right to try him and the judges gave the 43-year-old until July 14 to decide whether or not he wanted to be heard as a witness or find other witnesses for his defence.

The man widely perceived as the inspiration behind the 32-month-old Palestinian uprising is accused of "heading a terrorist organisation" and charged with 26 counts of murder.

 

Warring Syrians set for first face-to-face at Astana

Turkey moves closer to expanding Erdogan powers

IS demolishes more monuments in recaptured Palmyra

Bodies of firemen recovered from Tehran tower

Police, ruling party hit by attacks in Istanbul

Bomb kills 4 in refugee camp near Syrian border with Jordan

Egypt says political solution 'only way' for Libya ahead of talks

Turkey concedes including Assad in Syria talks

Netanyahu congratulates ‘friend’ Trump in tweet

Israel denounces Belgian plan to interrogate ex-minister

Denmark grants soldiers permission to fight IS in Syria

Car bomb near Benghazi mosque wounds 12

UN calls IS destruction of Palmyra relics ‘war crime’

Armed settlers rescued from angry Palestinian villagers

Petition filed for Israeli court to return body of Bedouin

29 Yemen rebels killed by Saudi-led air strikes

Iran losing hope of saving trapped firefighters

Algeria’s Islamist parties unite ahead of April elections

British worker dies on Qatar 2022 World Cup site

Search continues for trapped Iran firefighters

More than 40 jihadists killed in north Syria air strikes

Trump to be sworn in as 45th US president

Trump to retain envoy to anti-IS coalition

More than 20 firefighters feared dead in Tehran building collapse

Explosions in Gaza target Fatah member

UN expert tells Saudi to end ban on women driving

Desalination plant opens in Gaza to tackle water crisis

Syria’s Assad hopes rebels disarm after Astana talks

UN says 400,000 Syrian child refugees in Turkey not in school

Libya PM skips Davos to focus on electricity crisis

Greece, Cyprus insist peace deal must include Turkish withdrawal

Mistura to lead UN delegation at Astana Syria talks

Turkey slams French satire song about Istanbul attack

Saudi minister says kingdom to become ‘softer’ after reforms

Bahrain lifts ban on electronic Al-Wasat newspaper

Arab Israelis strike in protest over house demolitions

Iran sees Syria talks as opportunity to gain influence

Kuwait upholds sentence for three royals for insulting judges

Tunisia facing mounting calls against jail-for-joint law

Iran's oldest high-rise building on fire collapses

IMF says Egypt on track for next aid tranche

Bahrain police disperse Shiite protesters

Key Syria rebel group opts out of Astana peace talks

Moroccan Sufi ‘living master’ dies at 95

France says Iraqi jihadist among 2015 stadium bombers