Palestinian pleads for two-states

Sept. 30, 2003 at 4:27 PM   |   Comments

TEL AVIV, Israel, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Jailed Fatah official Marwan Barghouti said Tuesday the only way to end the Palestinian intifada is to establish "two states for the two peoples."

Although he was to present his defense, the Australian newspaper said Barghouti delivered a speech to a Tel Aviv District Court.

"The occupation cannot continue over the Palestinian people, who want freedom and independence like every other people in the world," Barghouti said. "There is one solution -- two states for two peoples, or one state for two peoples. Otherwise the bloodshed will continue."

He is to be sentenced in November for murdering or abetting the killings of 26 people. Arrested last April, he was also accused of heading the militant Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed offshoot of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement.

During his 45-minute speech, Barghouti delivered an impassioned speech about the realities of living under Israeli occupation.

"I think it's time the Israeli public realized we need to end the occupation," he said. "It is better to die than to live under occupation. I am standing here because I opposed the occupation."

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