The West Bank leader of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fateh faction called on Palestinians Sunday to widen the scope of the Intifada and work to make an independent state a reality on the ground.
"Let us prevent the Israel occupation from entering our villages, refugee camps and cities, so that the blood of the martyrs will not be shed in vain," Marwan Barghouthi told mourners at the funerals of two men killed in an Israeli bombardment here Saturday night.
A total of 210 people have been killed, most of them Palestinians, since the start of the uprising or Intifada more than six weeks ago.
"We should start putting into reality on the ground the Palestinian state even if they will not announce it," he said, referring to November 15, the date a top PLO council was due to meet to consider plans to declare an independent state.
However, the head of the 129-member Central Council, Salim al-Zanun, said Friday that it would not meet on or before November 15 as expected because of the Islamic summit now underway in Qatar.
The Central Council decided on September 10 to delay unilaterally declaring statehood, but vowed to meet by November 15 to review the issue.
"I assure you that the age of the occupation has become shorter and that the Intifada is contributing to this day after day," Barghouthi, accused by Israel of escalating the violence in the territories, told some 5,000 people who marched through the streets during the funeral procession.
"You are the ones who will decide to continue the Intifada and a thousands 'nos' to ending the Intifada," he added -- EL-BIREH, West Bank (AFP)
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