LaRouche: ‘Barghouti's Call for Peace Agreement is Really Decisive’
December 3, 2007 (LPAC)--Marwan Barghouti, the imprisoned Palestinian leader, told a delegation of Knesset members visiting him in the Hasharon Prison on Sunday, that the Palestinian people in both the West Bank and Gaza would support a peace agreement.Barghouti is quoted by Ynet as having said: "The end of the (Israeli-Palestinian) conflict is near. All that is needed is a leader courageous enough to sign (an agreement). I believe we are on the brink of a solution. If a permanent agreement is drafted, the Palestinian Authority will hold a referendum to approve it."
Lyndon LaRouche commented that, "this is really significant. This one thing is really decisive. A lot of people are on the fence on this issue, but Barghouti is not. Our pushing of the Annapolis Conference was the right thing to do."
As for the release by Israel of 429 prisoners on Monday, he said, it "is a joke.” Most of those slated for release would have been freed a few months from now anyway. Israel can free thousands of prisoners, not just 400. Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) requested the release of more prisoners, but was denied by Israel," he said. Israel is holding no less than 9,000 Palestinian prisoners.
In response to the fact that Palestinian prisoners have no access to a public phone, Knesset Member Nadia Hilou (Labor) said in response, "This is especially bewildering when one takes into account that another security prisoner in Israel named Yigal Amir (Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassin) enjoys 24-hour access to a phone."
Both Lyndon LaRouche and former Secretary of State James Baker III have called for Barghouti's release as key to furthering the peace process. Israeli infrastructure minister Benjamin Ben Eliezer has also called for his release.
Barghouti is recognized as a legitimate leader of the Arafat Fatah movement in the West Bank and was elected as a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council in 1996. In April 2002 he was arrested and placed on trial before an Israeli court. He received a sentence of 5 life terms by the Israel court, whose jurisdiction he refused to recognize during the proceedings. He has continued to be active politically in jail on behalf of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. The fact that he called for the signing of a peace agreement, lends crucial support to the post-Annapolis peace process.