Jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti has called for a new wave of civil resistance against Israel and urged the Palestinian Authority (PA) to halt all coordination with the Jewish state in a letter marking the ten-year anniversary of his detention.
In a message published late Monday from Israel’s Hadrim prison, Barghouti, the former leader of the Palestinian Fatah faction in the West Bank, said the “launch of large-scale popular resistance at this stage serves the cause of our people.”
“I call on the Palestinian Authority to end all forms of coordination, security and economic, with the occupation,” he wrote, adding: “The job of the Palestinian security services is to provide security and protection to Palestinian citizens, not to protect the occupation.”
More from GlobalPost: The "Palestinian Nelson Mandela"
Barghouti is currently serving five life sentences for his role in deadly anti-Israel attacks, but remains an influential figure, negotiating truces and agreements from inside his prison cell, the BBC reports.
He is widely viewed as the driving force behind the second Palestinian intifada (uprising), and commands great respect among all Palestinian factions, according to the Agence France Presse.
Some Barghouti supporters feel the PA prefers to see him remain behind bars because of the potential challenge he would pose to the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas if freed, according to The Jerusalem Post.
Barghouti’s remarks come days before thousands of people are expected to protest along Israel’s borders on Friday in an event known as Land Day, which marks the deaths of six Israeli Arabs in March 1976 and protests the Israeli government’s land policies, Haaretz reports.
More from GlobalPost: Has Israel's regional isolation helped protect its economy?