During the conference, Dr. Barghouthi presented current facts on the ground in order to demonstrate the lack of impact the Annapolis conference has had on the establishment of a serious and long-lasting peace process. Though many meetings have taken place, and in spite of the fact that all parties have openly committed themselves to a two-state solution, little or no progress has been made. There had not been a peace process of any type for the seven years preceding the Annapolis Conference; and when it finally did arrive; conditions on the ground were all but conducive.” « The Annapolis conference was useless, and the year that passed proves it », emphasised the Deputy.
To Dr. Barghouthi, Annapolis has widened the gap between the quest for a peace agreement and the building of a Palestinian State. “It was a one-way negotiation, with efforts showed only by the Palestinian side. Israelis didn’t negotiate. They imposed their reality on the ground », he added. « A country without a capital, infiltrated by settlements, containing the biggest open-air jail in its body -Gaza- suffering from daily war crimes and where its refugees have no right of return: this is what they are trying to sell us », said Mustafa Barghouthi.
The deputy highlighted also the danger of the acceptance of the growing gap between Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza that Israel is trying to enlarge. « If we don’t pay attention to that and accept differences between Gaza and the West Bank, it will just serve Israel’s interests. »
The deputy called for the establishment of an urgent plan of action that will involve:
1. The end to the current negotiations with Israel suspension of all settlements activities
2. The establishment of a Palestinian united leader ship
3. The imminent end of the internal fighting amongst Palestinians
4. And a return to Arab peace initiative and call of international peace conference.
“Enough of conflict and segregations, we need to return to unity. In every sense of the word. If not, Israel is going to succeed in its aim to turn the Palestinian Authority into a security sub agent” and a Bantustan government, the deputy affirmed.
Regarding the current issue of upcoming elections, Barghouthi confirmed that elections are the fundamental right of the Palestinian people but that those elections have to be united. “We shouldn’t allow more segregation between Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem, and therefore elections have to be organised everywhere in Palestine. Not only in the West Bank.”
Amongst the facts presented, Dr. Barghouthi presented the violation of the Israeli commitment to the peace process:
2. Facts on the ground. Why Annapolis has not brought any peace:
1. A year after Annapolis: Israeli attacks, Palestinians killed, injured or imprisoned increase
3,063 attacks have been carried out in Palestine (1,700 in the WB and 1,363 in Gaza)
543 Palestinians have been killed (65 in the WB and 478 in Gaza. More than 71 were children.)
2,362 Palestinians have been injured (1,125 in the WB and 1,237 in Gaza. More than 138 were children.)
770 Palestinian prisoners were released while Israel imprisoned 4,945 more. (4,351 from the WB; 574 from Gaza including 351 children.) There are currently an estimated 10,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
2. A year after Annapolis: Gaza under siege
Since the beginning of the Siege in 2006, more than 260 patients have died as hospitals have run out of medical supplies, and treatment abroad is barred. 160 types of medicine have already run out in Gaza due to the blockade. Supplies of another 130 will run out soon and at least 90 medical equipment, including 31 dialysis machines, are out of order.
On the 23d consecutive day of closure in Gaza, Barghouthi highlighted the imminent disaster of sewage flood in the Northern Gaza Strip. “If measures are not taken soon, there will be a huge sanitation crisis.”
3. A year after Annapolis: the restrictions of movement increase
Checkpoints have risen from 521 to 699.
At least 30 people (including children) died at a checkpoint, in the WB or Gaza.
74% of the main WB routes are controlled by checkpoints or blocked entirely. In September 2008, the weekly average of flying checkpoints was 89.
4. A year after Annapolis: Settlement activity increases
2,600 houses for settlers are currently under construction. 55% are on the eastern side of the Wall.
In 2008, tenders for settlement construction increased by 550%.
Today, there are 121 Israeli settlements and 102 outposts in the WB in which 462,000 settlers are living.
Settlements are built on less than 1.5% of the oPt land but due to the extensive infrastructure, they take up more than 40% of the land.
After Annapolis, the Israeli government gave a preliminary green light in August for the new illegal settlement of Maskiot in the Jordan Valley.
5. A year after Annapolis: House evictions are currently taking place in Jerusalem
The Al Kurd family, who has lived in their house in Sheikh Jarrah for 50 years, was violently evicted on the 9th of November by the IOF. For two weeks, they lived in a tent without water, heating or electricity. Last weekend, Abu Kamal, the father of 5 died. Suffering from diabetes, his health conditions worsened due to the pressure of the eviction.
6. A year after Annapolis: The Israeli apartheid policy remains
The amount of water available for Palestinian consumption is 132 mcm while Israelis enjoy 800 mcm. The domestic water consumption of Palestinians is 60 litres/day/person (although the WHO recommends a minimum of 100 litres/day) while the Israelis consume 220 litres daily.
Palestinians pay 5 shekels per water unit and 13 shekels per electricity unit while Israelis pay it 2.4 shekels (water) and 6.3 (electricity).
7. A year after Annapolis: The building of the Wall continues
409 km (57%) of the apartheid Wall has been constructed while 66km (9%) is now under construction. When completed, the total length of the Wall would be 723km – Twice the length of the Green Line. 14% of the Wall would be on the Green Line while 86% would be inside of the WB.