Barghouthi: Pro-Palestinian activists have fulfilled purpose

[ 17/07/2011 – 10:49 AM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)– Palestinian MP Mustafa al-Barghouthi, head of the Palestinian National Initiative, said the international pro-Palestinian campaign achieved more than it set out to, despite measures Israel took to prevent them from landing in the occupied territories.

Barghouthi said in a statement to Quds Press that the measures still did not prevent hundreds of protesters from actually landing in the occupied Palestinian territories and demonstrating at checkpoints in Qalandia, Walaja, Bethlehem, Nabi Saleh and other areas in the West Bank.

Israel recently made far-reaching efforts to thwart the Freedom Flotilla II from breaching Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip and delivering much needed aid. Israel also hiked security preventing hundreds of pro-Palestinians from flying in to protest in the occupied territories.

Israel incurred heavy losses preventing the activists’ arrival and turning the Ben-Gurion Airport into a military barracks, Barghouthi told Quds Press. It put itself into problems with all European states, as no one can accept anymore Israel’s exports and its suppression of freedom of expression.

Barghouthi, who was on board the Freedom Flotilla II, said the Greeks bitterly felt that they had been politically and economically extorted, as the country succumbed to Israeli pressure and banned the flotilla’s ships from departing from its ports.

In the interview, Barghouthi also addressed American and European efforts to resume Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

He asserted that the US pressure on the Palestinians has been ongoing and actually increased recently. He cited the Congress’s decision to boycott the Palestinian Authority should it follow through with steps towards national unity or unilaterally seeking statehood from the United Nations.

Barghouthi went on to say that it was actually Israel that closed the door to negotiations, with the conduct of Netanyahu’s government. He questioned, how can the Palestinians sit at the negotiations table when the number of illegal settlers has risen a hundred percent since the signing of the Oslo Accords.

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