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.

 

Horse-trading begins as Tunisia awaits formation of new government

Israel closes al-Aqsa mosque to worshipers in rare move

UK court says Libyan Abdul-Hakim Belhaj can sue over rendition

Syria accuses Turkey of ‘flagrant violation of sovereignty’

Global campaign to end female genital mutilation kicks off

US to examine troops exposed to chemicals in Iraq

African Union hits back at Somalia rape claims

New scare in Turkey as ‘suspect packages’ found

‘Insults against Netanyahu’ cause embarrassment to US

Kuwait online activist gets four years in jail for insulting judges

Heavy fighting in South Sudan sparks fears of humanitarian catastrophe

Sweden officially recognises State of Palestine

Egypt jails retired general for damaging national security

Gaza civil servants receive delayed salaries

After US criticism, Israel vows no concessions to Palestinians

Libya internationally recognised PM opens doors of dialogue with rivals

Huthi rebels seize stronghold of Muslim Brotherhood in central Yemen

Will Nidaa Tounes shun Islamists in Tunisia government formation?

Egypt starts work on buffer zone along border with Gaza

Turkey Sultan unveils new palace: Another break with symbols of secular state

Heavy toll as ‘Islamic State’ fights for control of Syria oil field

Iran President suffers fresh setback with rejection of Science Minister

Nuclear deal or no deal: ‘Red lines’ lay bare internal divisions in Iran

Heavy security in Mogadishu as UN chief meets Somalia president

Fighters from Free Syrian Army leave Turkey to join Kobane battle

Israel denies banning Palestinians sharing buses

Kurd fighters leave northern Iraq base for Syria deployment

Jordan requests UN emergency meeting over Israel settler expansion

Jerusalem Mayor visits Al-Aqsa mosque prompting anger

Tunisia reinforces commitment to democracy with ‘transparent’ elections

Turkey ‘decides’ for Kobane future: No Kurds, no Assad... Only Free Syrian Army!

Bahrain suspends Al-Wefaq weeks before parliamentary elections

Huge game changer in Tunisia: ‘In-credible’ failure of Islamist Ennahda Party

Libya PM in Khartoum for talks with Bashir

PKK hijack truck seizing explosive substance

Saudi lawyers get jail time for offensive tweets

Ennahda concedes defeat in Tunisia parliamentary elections

Syria rebels launch assault on regime-held city of Idlib

Iraq peshmerga wait for Turkey stance to depart for Syria

Sisi enacts military trials decree to cover ‘existential threat’

US calls for online war against ‘Islamic State’

Donors pledge $8 billion for Horn of Africa

Acid attacks in Iran: Deputy of Judiciary Chief to lead investigation

Lebanon army enters Islamist stronghold in Tripoli

Israel approves plans for 1,000 settler homes in East Jerusalem