Jailed Fatah leader Barghouti calls possible US veto against Palestinian state „deadly mistake”

The Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison for murder, has threatened that world-wide protests would erupt in case the Obama administration vetoes Palestinian statehood at the UN Security Council in September. Barghouti, who has been imprisoned since 2002 but still remains influential within the Fatah movement of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, told an Egyptian news service that a US veto would be a „historic, deadly mistake” and would be confronted “by millions-strong protests throughout the Arab and Muslim world, indeed throughout the whole world.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told the Cabinet Sunday that the Palestinian Authority was “getting ready for bloodshed on a scale we haven’t yet seen” for the day after the UN vote in September. The Israeli military is preparing for possible engagement with the Syrian Army in September, should the latter involve itself in new attempts by Palestinians in Syria to storm the border on the Golan Heights following the UN vote. The newspaper ‘Haaretz’ reports, quoting a senior Israeli Army commander, that the IDF would not use tanks in the West Bank even if there was an escalation of violence and a resumption of terrorist attacks against Israel.

The army’s assessment, he said, is that unlike during the Second Intifada, when tanks were used extensively in the territories, “now there are no large terror cells in the field or weapons that require tanks to deal with them.”

Meanwhile, in a meeting with a visiting delegation of US Congressmen, Israel’s President Shimon Peres said that „the UN declaration of a Palestinian state will be devoid of any meaning and will only prolong the conflict.” He expressed his hope “that both sides return to the negotiation table before September. Both the Palestinians and the Israelis understand that the alternative to peace is a succession of unfortunate mistakes.”