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Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti demands 1967 borders

Marwan Barghouti, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2002 for his involvement in anti-Israeli attacks during the second intifada, said in a rare court appearance Wednesday that the Middle East conflict will end only when Israel withdraws to the pre-1967 lines and a Palestinian state is established, Agence France Presse reports.

"I call on the great Palestinian people to embrace unity and cohesion and to establish a national unity government and also to embrace popular, peaceful resistance to end the occupation," he said.

Barghouti is a senior member of the Fatah party of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and remains one of its most popular figures, according to recent polling data cited by The Associated Press. With Abbas having said he is retiring and Barghouti behind bars, Fatah faces a struggle for survival as it prepares for an electoral showdown with the Islamic militant movement Hamas.