JERUSALEM (AFP) – Jailed senior Palestinian leader Marwan Barghuti said on Tuesday Palestinians were ready for peace with Israel in a letter congratulating the Israeli Peace Now movement on its 30th anniversary.
“The vast majority of the Palestinian people, myself included, are ready for a historic reconciliation based on international resolutions that will result in the establishment of two states,” he said in a letter to the group.
“We are ready for reconciliation that will grant ours and your own children a life devoid of the threats of war and bloodshed… to this end, we must reach a comprehensive ceasefire as soon as possible,” he wrote.
Peace Now on Tuesday celebrates 30 years of pressing for peace with the Palestinians and campaigning against Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
Barghuti, a senior West Bank leader considered to have been the mastermind of the second Palestinian uprising in 2000, was jailed in 2004 and is serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison for his role in deadly attacks.
But the senior member of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’s Fatah party remains popular in the occupied territories, and is often spoken of as a successor to Abbas.
Israel does not release prisoners with “blood on their hands” — those convicted of involvement in deadly attacks — but some ministers have proposed trading Barghuti for a captured Israeli soldier being held in the Gaza Strip.