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.

 

Saudi warns of 'disastrous consequences' over US 9/11 law

3,800 Syrian civilians killed by Russian strikes in one year

World leaders attend Shimon Peres’ funeral

UN warns 100,000 people trapped in South Sudan town

Bulgaria approves full-face Islamic veil ban

Jordanians rally against gas deal with Israel

Israel pays Turkey $20 million compensation for Gaza flotilla raid

Egypt MP suggests university virginity tests

Morocco to speed repatriation of citizens in Germany illegally

Turkey opposition leader condemns Erdogan’s ‘coup against democracy’

French jets set off to join action as battle for Mosul looms

Moroccan left hopes to offer 'third way' at polls

Renault signs Iran auto venture

Saudi border guard killed, 3 civilians hurt by shelling from Yemen

Turkey issues warrants for judicial, prison staff

MSF warns Syria, Russia to stop ‘bloodbath’ in Aleppo

Russia waiting to see OPEC freeze deal details

Police raid Casablanca market after rumours of sex dolls

UN warns 700,000 will need aid once Mosul offensive starts

Saudi seeks oil leadership in economic pinch

Egypt court suspends block on island transfer to Saudi

Bid for international Yemen war probe fails at UN

UN warns 'hundreds' in Aleppo need medical evacuation

Palestinian president to attend Peres funeral

King Abdullah visits home of murdered writer

Amnesty accuses Sudan of using chemical arms against Darfur civilians

Bahrain says 9/11 bill will harm US

9/11 bill puts US, Saudi cooperation in question

UN envoy says Syria talks 'very difficult with bombs falling'

Erdogan says Moody's was 'bought' after downgrade

Erdogan: Turkey may need state of emergency for more than a year

Iraqi activist wins Norway rights prize

Kidnapped German woman, baby freed in Syria

Turkey stops Kurdish TV broadcasts

A year of bombing in Syria triggers limited interest in Russia

Obama defends refusal to use military force to end Syria civil war

US Congress overrides Obama's veto of Saudi 9/11 bill

OPEC agrees deal to cut oil output

Palestinians react to death of Peres

Poverty takes toll in rebel-held Yemen fishing village

Kerry threatens to end negotiations with Russia on Syria

Kuwaiti court scraps petrol price hike

Iraq requests more US troops to take on IS in Mosul

Airstrikes hit hospitals in rebel-held Aleppo

Iran nuclear chief says not worried about Trump