Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi, and possible future Palestinian leader, speaks from an Israeli prison:
The question that should be asked is why did the Al-Aqsa Intifada break out? Was it not because of the collapse of the peace process? Because the negotiation reached a dead end? Was it not because of continued settlement and Judaization in Jerusalem? The refusal [of Israel] to end the occupation and accept Palestinians’ rights? And now is there an Israeli partner for peace? The answer is a big ‘no.’ Did the settlements stop?
What is happening now is the height of settlement activity since 1967. In addition there is the Judaization of Jerusalem. First it was one home after another, now it’s one neighborhood after another. I am saying this loudly: anyone who thinks that peace is possible with the current Israeli government and was not possible with the previous governments, is being delusional.
The problem is that there is no leader in Israel either like Charles de Gualle in France who ended the colonization of Algeria, or like De Klerk, the president of Apartheid South Africa who handed over power to Mandela. Israel does not peace and is not ready to end the occupation.
Intifada does not result from a decision by this official or that leader, or this faction or that. It comes from the collective will of the Palestinians. That’s what happened in the First and Second Intifadas.
What is needed now is a popular movement of peaceful resistance to confront settlement, a movement that has the participation of all the leaders, factions, organizations, and the Palestinian Authority. It is clear that the conditions that were in place when the Second Intifada broke out are still in place.