On Monday, Israeli soldiers captured one of the most wanted leaders of the Palestinian Intifada. Marwan Barghouti is Secretary General of Fatah’s military wing in the West Bank, a close aide to Yasser Arafat, and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. He was detained at a house in Ramallah. Barghouti’s fiery speeches and frequent media interviews — including several he gave Israeli television in Hebrew — earned him the title of “leader of the second Intifada.”
Barghouti was arrested for the first time when he was only 18, and he learned Hebrew in Israeli prisons. He served six years in prison for membership in Yasser Arafat’s Fatah faction, when it was an illegal organization. He was deported in 1987 and allowed to return seven years later under an interim Palestinian-Israeli peace deal.
In the months preceding his capture, Barghouti had gone almost completely underground. He hadn’t left Ramallah for 19 months for fear of being detained or killed. An Israeli missile attack on his convoy narrowly missed him in August last year. Last December, his house was stormed by Israeli soldiers in apparent retaliation for an attack on a bus of Jewish settlers days before. Shortly after, Free Speech Radio News reporter, Raphael Krafft, conducted a rare interview with Barghouti at an undisclosed location. Here are some of his comments from that interview.
- Marwan Barghouti, Secretary General of Fatah in the West Bank, interviewed by Free Speech Radio News reporter Rafael Krafft in December 2001.
- Toufic Haddad, Palestinian-American editor of Between the Lines, an anti-Zionist magazine based in Ramallah. Between the Lines aims to continue the political perspective of a categorical rejection of the Oslo process, and the Apartheid reality which has been established in its wake in the ’67 Occupied Territories and strengthened within Israel.
- Allegra Pacheco, Israeli-American lawyer who represents Palestinian political prisoners from the West Bank and Gaza. Â In 1999, she litigated — and won — the first anti-torture case before the Israeli high court.