The Palestinian Authority should cease peace negotiations with Israel and concentrate on popular struggle and efforts to achieve membership in the United Nations, imprisoned Fatah strongman Marwan Barghouti said on Tuesday, adding that it was useless to breathe life into a "dead body."
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Barghouti's comments came after Israeli and Palestinian officials met in Amman earlier Tuesday, in the first attempt in months to restart the stalled Mideast peace negotiations.
In a letter written on the occasion of Fatah's 47th anniversary published by the Palestinian news agency Ma'an, Barghouti, who was sentenced by Israel to life in jail in 2004 for his role in attacks on Israelis, said that peace talks with Israel were finished, adding: "there is no point to make desperate attempts to breathe life into a dead body."
The imprisoned Fatah commander urged the PA to divert its attention to popular protests and an unarmed struggle against Israel, urging the Palestinian leadership to pursue its attempts at recognition at the UN
"Fatah has been in a position of leadership since the beginning of the Palestinian revolution, the leadership in PLO, the establishment of the PA, and the two intifadas, and should be in the leadership of the peaceful popular resistance now," Ma'an quoted him as writing.
Earlier Tuesday, and ahead of a meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's emissary and top PA negotiator Saeb Erekat, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas threatened to take new measures against Israel attempts to renew Mideast peace talks fail.
Abbas' comments came a day after Haaretz reported that Palestinians were preparing a diplomatic campaign that aims to put Israel under "a real international siege."
The measures could include more action at the UN. Mahmoud Abbas issued the warning shortly before the chief Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were to meet in Amman. The goal of their meeting, the first between the sides in more than a year, is to find an agenda for renewed peace talks.