On the occasion of the tenth anniversary to the death of Yasser Arafat, and against the backdrop of the growing tension between Israel and the Palestinians, Fatah Central Committee member Marwan Al-Barghouti issued a statement from the Israeli prison where he is serving multiple life sentences for acts of terrorism that killed and wounded many Israelis.
In his statement, Al-Barghouti expressed his commitment to following Yasser Arafat's path of national struggle, resistance to occupation, and the liberation of the homeland and Jerusalem. He also called upon the Palestinian people to complete the national reconciliation efforts and adhere to the option of resistance and the gun, since this is the shortest path to attaining liberty, the right of return, and independence. He added that the Palestinian leadership should formally endorse the anti-Israel boycott movement, and urged the Palestinian Authority (PA) security apparatuses to back demonstrations in support of the Palestinian uprising in Jerusalem.
It should be noted that, in August 2014, during the fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, Al-Barghouti published a statement criticizing the PA leadership's conduct vis-à-vis Israel and the fruitlessness of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and exhorted the Fatah movement to stick to resistance as the means to end the occupation.
The following is a translation of Al-Barghouti’s statement:
Marwan Barghouti (image: medea.be)
"Loyalty to Yasser Arafat is also loyalty to Jerusalem, the [Palestinian] national unity and the resistance.
"These days we are marking the tenth anniversary of the martyrdom of the founding commander, the great national leader, the late president and the wonder of the contemporary Palestinian revolution, the shahid Yasser Arafat – the icon of Palestine and of Palestinian national identity who lives forever in the hearts of the Palestinians, the Arabs and the free people of the world. This is a man who chose the path of torment and sacrifice, the path of heroism and honor, the path of revolution and resistance, who put Palestine on the map of the entire world, and who did not know the meaning of despair but continued until the last moment of his life to believe in victory, in the liberation of the homeland, in the [right of] return, in independence and in our sacred and eternal right over the land of Palestine. [A man who] cleaved to the [principle of] independent Palestinian national decision-making, and to the Arabness of the Palestinian people and its membership in the Arab and Islamic nation; [a man] who always spearheaded all the battles of the revolution, and did not hesitate to take the necessary political decisions at the right time, and who upheld Palestinian unity and maintained contact with all the forces, parties and sectors in the Palestinian arena.
"At the tenth anniversary of the martyrdom of the founding commander Yasser Arafat, the Palestine people feels even greater sorrow and pain over his absence, for he left behind him an immense vacuum, and the Palestinian cause is paying dearly for this.
"From my solitary confinement cell in the prison of the Israeli occupation, [where I am incarcerated] along with thousands of other Palestinian prisoners, I wish to take this opportunity to emphasize the following:
"-The assassination of president Yasser Arafat was [the result of] an official Israeli-American decision, which came in the wake of a prolonged military and political siege. [The assassination] aimed to put an end to the blessed Al-Aqsa intifada and to harm the Palestinian unity and resistance, and there is no need for a decade of work by [special] teams and investigative committees to realize this truth.
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"-In the decade since the assassination of Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian people – despite all the efforts and threats aimed at getting it to relinquish its national principles and legitimate rights – is still strong and determined to gain its liberty and independence. Furthermore, all efforts [to cause it] to abandon the path of comprehensive resistance have failed, and the steadfastness of our heroic people in the Gaza Strip and its courageous resistance, as well as our people's [present] uprising in beloved Jerusalem, are only further proof of this failure.
"-Adherence to the legacy of Yasser Arafat and the principles for which he died as a martyr, as did thousands of others, will be obtained by continuing the national reconciliation process on the basis of correct principles, [and] by completing the national unity, supporting the national accord government and adhering to the option of comprehensive resistance and of the gun, just as Yasser Arafat, Abu Jihad, Ahmad Yassin, [Fathi] Shqaqi, Abu Mustafa Al-Karmi, and Al-Ja'bari were martyred with [a gun] in their hands.
"-We must consider [re-endorsing] the option of resistance, as it is the shortest path to defeating the occupation and attaining liberty, the [right of] return and independence. [Also,] the Palestinian leadership must officially endorse the anti-Israel boycott movement.
"-The roles and missions of the Palestinian Authority should be reassessed, so that its main mission will be supporting and assisting the comprehensive resistance, which necessitates the immediate termination of security coordination and cooperation [with Israel], which [only] reinforces the occupation and is tremendously detrimental to the Palestinian people's national interest.
"-A bold and immediate decision must be taken to turn to the Security Council and join all international institutions and agencies, first among them the International Criminal Court [in the Hague], and to stop betting on the illusion of negotiations.
"-We must convey our veneration and esteem for the popular uprising in Jerusalem, and call upon the Palestinian people in the West Bank, in Gaza and within [the 1948 borders], and in the [Palestinian] diaspora and the Arab and Islamic world, to support this uprising, because the battle for Al-Aqsa and the places sacred to Islam and Christianity is the battle for Palestine and the battle for liberty, return and independence. At this opportunity I call upon the [Palestinian] Authority's apparatuses and the Palestinian security apparatuses to protect the demonstrations of support for our people's uprising in Jerusalem and to back them.
"-All the political, social, economic and cultural forces, and all the personages and institutions, should be urged to hold a national conference and conduct a strategic dialogue in order to formulate a concerted Palestinian concept and strategy, with all [elements] participating, in order to lay the groundwork for holding elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council, the presidency, and the Palestinian National Council [PNC] – [for] many years have passed since the legal validity of these bodies expired, and in order to renew the Palestinian political apparatuses.
"-The crime of harming the Fatah movement leaders in the Gaza Strip should be condemned, and the security apparatuses should be called upon to pursue those involved and hold them to account, [thus] allowing the national accord government to fulfill its tasks in the [Gaza] Strip. The popular masses should be exhorted to participate as much as possible, [and] throughout the homeland, in commemorating the tenth anniversary of the martyrdom of the commander and icon Yasser Arafat.
"-I [also] take this opportunity to renew [my] commitment and oath to continue Yasser Arafat's path: the path of national struggle and resistance to occupation, and the path of cleaving to his dream and our grand people's dream of liberating the homeland, and [the path of cleaving to] Jerusalem, [which is] the source of our inspiration, the jewel in our crown, the crowning glory of our cities and our eternal capital.
"Marwan Al-Barghouti (Abu Al-Qassam)
"Hadarim prison, solitary confinement cell 67"
 See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 5828, "Marwan Barghouti In Message From Israeli Jail: The Time Has Arrived For Fatah Members To Take Part In Comprehensive Resistance Against Israel," August 27, 2014.
 Al-Quds (Jerusalem), November 11, 2014.