Palestinian left-wing political leader Khalida Jarrar has been released after close to two years of illegal imprisonment in Israeli prisons.
Israeli authorities released Jarrar at the Salem checkpoint west of Jenin city on Sunday afternoon, member of the now-defunct Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). She was arrested from her home in Ramallah on October 31, 2019, merely eight months after the Israeli army had released her after 20-months of detention without trial or change.
Earlier in July, one of Jarrar’s two daughters, 31-year-old Suha, died in Ramallah after health complications. At the time, Israel rejected mass calls to release Jarrar early so that she can attend her daughter’s funeral.
Jarrar visited the Ramallah Cemetery later on Sunday, where her daughter is buried.
“They forbade me from participating in the funeral of my beloved daughter and from planting a kiss on my daughter’s forehead. They denied me her farewell. The last time I hugged Suha was the night of my arrest in 2019,” she said as she broke down in tears
Dozens of political workers of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) political party, head of the Palestinian Prisoners Club, Qadura Faris, governor of Ramallah and al-Bireh cities, Leila Ghannam, and dozens of Palestinian journalists were gathered at the cemetery.
Jarrar was held in administrative detention until March this year before an Israeli military court charged her with “membership in an illegal organization” due to affiliation with the PFLP. She has been previously imprisoned for 15 months on the same charges in 2015.
At the time, Ramallah-based Addameer prisoners’ rights group said, “All [her] such detentions and arrests constitute a flagrant violation of international law and contradicts the internationally established legal principle and prohibition of trying a person for the same act twice.”
Israel’s apartheid laws have banned over 400 organisations, political parties, including the ruling Fatah party and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), labelling them as “terrorist groups”. Israeli courts regularly sentence Palestinians on the charges of “membership in an illegal organisation” or “providing services to one” due to their political affiliations, or any kind of peaceful activity.
Jarrar’s profile has not been any different as she has long been a target of Israeli oppression due to her outspoken nature and political activism.
She has been in and out of Israeli prisons during the last six years, including between July 2017 and February 2019 in administrative detention. Israel’s Administrative Detention policy allows the Israeli army to imprison Palestinians indefinitely, on “secret information,” without presenting them with formal charges or allowing them to stand trial.
Israel has also held a travel ban since 1988, except for a three-week trip to Amman, Jordan, for medical treatment.
Jarrar was elected as a member of the PLC on the PFLP list in 2006. She has also been appointed to the Palestinian National Committee for the follow-up with the International Criminal Court.