Palestinian leader Marwan Barghuti is being punished by Israeli prison authorities after appealing for 'peaceful resistance'
Palestinian leader Marwan Barghuti is being punished by Israeli prison authorities after appealing for 'peaceful resistance' Reuters

Jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghuti has been punished by Israeli prison authorities after launching an appeal for "peaceful resistance", public radio said.

Barghuti was put in solitary confinement and barred from the prison cafeteria, according to the report. It is unknown how long the sanctions will remain in place.

"I appeal to the great Palestinian people for unity, cohesion, the creation of a government of national unity and to pursue its peaceful resistance to end the occupation" by Israel, Barghuti said last week while he appeared as a witness at a court in Jerusalem, AP reported.

Barghuti, who enjoys large popular support in Palestine, was arrested in Ramallah in April 2002 and was awarded five life terms for his involvement in several deadly anti-Israeli attacks.

He was secretary general of the Fatah party led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and is widely considered to be the decisive force behind the second intifada that erupted in 2000.

The activist supported the Oslo peace process in the 1990s and has in recent years insisted that he never supported attacks on civilians inside Israel.

He instead calls for peaceful resistance against Israel.

Negotiations with Israel an illusion

Last week, ahead of Land Day, which commemorates the deaths of six Arab Israeli protesters in Galilee in 1976, Barghuti issued a letter from the Hadarim prison, urging the Palestinian Authority to "end all forms of coordination" with Israel following years of failed negotiations.

"I call on the Palestinian Authority to end all forms of coordination, security and economic, with the occupation," Barghuti wrote.

"The job of the Palestinian security services is to provide security and protection to Palestinian citizens, not to protect the occupation," the letter continued.

Abbas should "stop marketing the illusion that it is possible to end the occupation through these negotiations."

It was the first time that Barghuti had called for a complete halt in peace talks with Israel.

"It must be understood that there is no partner for peace in Israel when the settlements have doubled," Barghouti added. "It is the Palestinian people's right to oppose the occupation by all means and the resistance must be focused on the 1967 territories."