Barghouti calls for Palestinian popular resistance campaign


Jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti called on Palestinians to launch a popular resistance campaign against Israel.

The former Fatah leader, who is serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison for his role in five murders, in a statement called on the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority to stop all coordination with Israel in the economic and security realms and to stop peace negotiations.

Barghouti, considered a potential next president of the Palestinian Authority, issued the statement in advance of Land Day on Friday. Thousands of Arabs in Israel and in neighboring countries are expected to protest along the Jewish state’s borders against Israel’s land policies and in memory of six Israeli Arabs killed in 1976 during a Land Day demonstration.

“It must be understood that there is no partner for peace in Israel when the settlements have doubled,” Barghouti said in the statement. “It is the Palestinian people’s right to oppose the occupation in all means, and the resistance must be focused on the 1967 territories.”

It is the first time that Barghouti, who has been in prison since 2002, has called for a cessation of peace negotiations with Israel. He also called for a boycott of all Israeli products.

Three jailed in Auschwitz sign theft


A Polish court convicted three men for stealing the “Arbeit Macht Frei” sign from the front gate of Auschwitz.

The Polish men, who confessed last week to cutting the 16-foot metal sign in pieces and stealing it, were given sentences ranging from six months to 2 1/2 years, according to reports.

Two other Polish men remain in jail in connection with the theft.

The sign, which means “work makes you free,” was stolen Dec. 18 and recovered across the country 72 hours later.

Anders Hogstrom, a former Swedish neo-Nazi, is suspected of ordering the men to steal the sign. He allegedly acted as an agent for a British Nazi sympathizer who wanted the sign.

Sweden agreed last week to extradite Hogstrom to Poland.