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 to carry out nuclear power deal with or without US

Air strikes hit Ghouta despite rebel ceasefire effort

Three dead after suspected IS gunman takes hostages in France

US approves $1 billion in Saudi defence contracts

Exiled Syrian doctors treat refugees in Turkey

Iraqi asylum seeker gets life sentence for London bombing

UK says Israeli sentencing of Palestinian teenage girl "emblematic"

Israel ministers welcome US appointment of 'friend' Bolton

Sarkozy vows to clear name in Libya probe

Syria announces second evacuation deal for rebel-held Eastern Ghouta.

170,000 flee violence in Syria's Afrin

Norway proposes bill to ban full-face veils in education

Turkey says EU statements on Cyprus 'unacceptable'

In world first, flight to Israel crosses Saudi airspace

Saudi, US must pursue 'urgent efforts' for Yemen peace: Mattis

US, Jordan launch new counterterrorism training centre

Turkey’s largest media group to be sold to Erdogan ally

Rebels evacuate Syria's Eastern Ghouta

Two Hamas security force members killed in raid on bomb suspect

Turkey gives watchdog power to block internet broadcasts

EU leaders to condemn Turkey’s ‘illegal’ actions in Mediterranean

Sarkozy says life ‘living hell’ since corruption allegations

Hezbollah leader says debt threatens Lebanon disaster

Ahed Tamimi reaches plea deal for eight months in jail

UN launching final push to salvage Libya political agreement

Conditions for displaced from Syria's Ghouta 'tragic': UN

Sisi urges Egyptians to vote, denies excluding rivals

Rights Watch says Libya not ready for elections

Saudis revamp school curriculum to combat Muslim Brotherhood

American mother trapped in Syria’s Ghouta calls out Trump

Syria workers say French firm abandoned them to jihadists

Grim Nowruz for Kurds fleeing Afrin

Sarkozy back in custody for second day of questioning

'Saudization' taking its toll on salesmen

Syrian rebels reach evacuation deal in Eastern Ghouta town

Israel confirms it hit suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007

UN says Turkey security measures 'curtail human rights'

Netanyahu says African migrants threaten Jewish majority

US Senate votes on involvement in Yemen war as Saudi prince visits

What a ‘limited strike’ against Syria’s Assad might mean

Erdogan tells US to stop ‘deceiving’, start helping on Syria

IS controls Damascus district in surprise attack

French ex-president held over Libya financing allegations

NGO says Israeli army violating Palestinian minors’ rights

Human rights chief slams Security Council for inaction on Syria