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.

 

Iran nuclear talks enter their final day

Iraq forces ‘retake’ government HQ in Tikrit

Kuwait emir pledges $500 million at Syria donors conference

Arab coalition pounds Yemeni capital

At time of war, cigar business launched in Syria

Massive power cut causes chaos across Turkey

Assad does not see Russia, Iran interests in Syria

Confidence in Tunisia ability to rebound as museum reopens to public

Iran claims US drone killed two military advisers in Iraq

Court finds ex-Israel Premier Olmert guilty in corruption retrial

Deadly air strike hits camp for displaced people in northwest Yemen

Erdogan insists on visit to Iran despite war-of-words

UN chief in Iraq for talks with top officials

UN warns of horrifying Syria 'catastrophe'

Iran asks for explanation on Erdogan comments

One day to Iran nuclear talks deadline

Yemen ex-president's son sacked as ambassador to UAE

Yemen Huthi rebels bombed for fifth night

Saudi police officers wounded in Riyadh drive-by shooting

World leaders show solidarity with Tunisia in march against extremism

Guarded optimism as Iran nuclear talks close in on deal

Dialogue remains distant as Arabs vow to defeat Iran 'puppet' in Yemen

Egypt renews calls for creation of joint military force at Arab summit

Saudi ambassador to return to Sweden after diplomatic spat

Libya forces ‘withdraw’ from frontline bases near oil ports

Qaeda seizes 'majority' of Syria northwestern city of Idlib

Torturous Iran talks move into top gear in battle of wills

UN Security Council keeps Libya arms embargo in place

Saudi-led airstrikes target arms depots in Yemen capital

Death toll from hotel attack rises as fighting continues in Somalia

Oil prices fall after Yemen-inspired gains

Turkish parliament passes security bill after long debate

Turkey army chief of staff visits historic tomb inside Syria

Saudi-led coalition keeps up raids against Yemen rebels

Assad says open to dialogue with US

US backs Saudi-led intervention in Yemen

Heavy Saudi raids force Sanaa residents to flee

Israeli Arab MP walks for Bedouins

Gulf stocks regain ground after early losses over Yemen

Kerry presses Iran on nuclear deal before deadline

Somali pirates seize Iranian fishing vessel

Borse Dubai sells big stake in London Stock Exchange

Can Arabs form joint military force?

Libya rivals discuss UN-backed peace proposals

French President to join 'anti-terror' march in Tunis