CNN int’l goes where the NYT won’t go, and interviews Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti in prison.
How do you feel when Israel trades up to 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for just one Israeli soldier?
Israel is holding inside its prisons and detention facilities more than 10,000 Palestinian prisoners, some of whom have spent more than 32 years of their life inside prisons. Also, Israel detains hundreds of prisoners without trial or charges or anything. Israel is an occupying country that uses oppression and aggression against the Palestinians for decades. It confiscates land, builds illegal settlements, kills and assassinates, and arrests close to 500 Palestinians on a monthly basis, establishes and erects military checkpoints, besieges the Gaza strip. The Palestinians have one soldier to return for 10,000 prisoners, so it is natural to request the largest possible number. For Israel the soldier is the army, and the army means the state. So the deal will release 100 percent of Israelis in return for 10 percent of the Palestinian prisoners.
Note that Barghouti still favors two-state solution.
Israeli politicians have been visiting you in prison. Why are they coming to you? What do they ask you about?
Not one single Israeli official has met with me since my kidnapping in April 2002, only a certain number of Israeli Knesset members have visited me. Most of them conduct many visits to prisons and meet with a number of prisoners. Most of the time the conversations are on developments in the political situation, and about the practices of the Israeli occupation. They listened to my point-of-view in which I have always maintained that the first day of peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis is the last day in the life of the occupation. And the two-state solution is the solution most capable of life even though it is becoming more difficult as time passes.