Mustafa Barghouti: Netanyahu blocked peaceful solutions for many years

NEWS 18.05.2021 19:06

The Israeli army is not targeting military targets but is “taking revenge on Palestinians” because of their resistance, Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Initiative, Mustafa Barghouti, told N1, arguing that Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu “paved the road to the extreme right wing in Israel.”

What we are witnessing is a “barbaric attack” by the Israeli military aircraft against the civilian population in Gaza, Barghouti said.

“They are using F16 fighters, very sophisticated weaponry, including artillery, navy, tanks to attack a civilian population and so far we had 194 Palestinians killed by the Israeli army in six days and more than 55 of them were children,” he said.

Worst of all is that “they are attacking people’s homes for no reason, bombarding them without warning,” he said, adding that he has lost two colleagues, doctors in Gaza who are not politically affiliated.

He said that 12 families were completely eliminated by the Israeli army in recent days.

Barghouti said he does not believe the Israeli army is targeting military targets.

“They are just taking revenge against Palestinians because they resisted the aggression and they are conducting collective punishment against a whole population.”

Israel is also attacking the West Bank, he said, stressing that “all we have in the West Bank is peaceful, non-violent resistance.”

“So far we lost 23 people in the West Bank and we have about 188 injured with live ammunition, which means some of them will also die,” he added.

The situation escalated mainly because the Israeli army attacked Muslims who were praying at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, he said, arguing that “there was no justification whatsoever for sending the Israeli army into the mosque, throwing tear-gas bombs at people, shooting them with metallic rubber-coated bullets, which led to the injury of 1,000 people and six young people lost their eyes.”

This attack was combined with an attack on Sheikh Jarrah where “the Israeli army is trying to evict and ethnically cleanse 500 Palestinians living in the neighbourhood,” he said.

“The response from Gaza happened because of what is happening in Jerusalem,” he explained.

Barghouti called the Israeli Prime Minister “a dangerous man.”

“He has blocked any possibility for peaceful solutions for many many years. He was personally responsible for killing the so-called Oslo Agreement,” he said.

“Netanyahu paved the road to the extreme right wing in Israel. We’ve never seen so many extremists sitting in the Israeli Government as we do today. And he has made the Israeli settlers a political force.”

“One factor is that Israel has gone so far into the direction of racism and extremism and the creation of a system of apartheid that is much worse than what they did in South Africa. That is exactly the policy we are witnessing today,” he said.

The other factor is that “Netanyahu is facing three cases of corruption. He could be sent to jail. His only way to escape that is to stay Prime Minister. In that sense, he is now using Palestinian and Israeli blood to stay in power,” he said.

The international community has “failed us, and has failed to pressure Israel to stop this illegal occupation” which has been ongoing for the past 54 years, he said, adding that it resulted in “an occupation that has gradually transformed to become the worst system of racial discrimination and apartheid,” he said.

More about the ongoing conflict, the reasons behind it and other political developments in the region can be heard in the full interview linked above.


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