Palestinian politicians and activists have strongly condemned the detention by Israel of a female legislator and senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
Israeli troopers raided the home of 55-year-old Khalida Jarra in the central West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday morning and arrested her.
She is also the head the Prisoners’ Commission of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) and is vice-chairperson of the board of directors of Palestinian prisoners’ rights group, Addameer.
Head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Qaraqe denounced Israel for arresting Jarrar, saying the detention is “a violation of international laws and of immunity given to elected Parliament members.”
Jarrar’s detention comes about a year after she was released from Israeli custody.
Israeli soldiers last arrested the Palestinian lawmaker on April 2, 2015 after storming her house in Ramallah. She was released from prison on June 3, 2016 on a suspended sentence of 12 months within a five-year period.
Qaraqe urged all Arab and foreign parliaments to intervene and ensure the release of Jarrar as well as 12 other PLC members currently imprisoned in Israeli detention centers.
He also noted that Israel has arrested about 70 lawmakers since 2002, equal to about half of the total number of PLC members.
Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), condemned the detention of Jarrar as well as the chairwoman of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees Khitam Saafin in Beituniya.
“We protest the arrest of Palestinian lawmakers and women activists, as well as the ongoing detention of Palestinian political and civil society leaders,” Ashrawi said, adding, “Clearly, this political arrest is further proof that the judicial system in Israel has no relation to justice.”
She also called for the immediate release of Jarrar.
Israel’s internal spy agency, Shin Bet, announced in a statement on Sunday that Jarrar was arrested along with a Palestinian activist for “promoting terror activities,” without providing any further information.
Jarrar is one of the most outspoken critics of the Israeli occupation and has repeatedly slammed the Tel Aviv regime’s atrocities against Palestinians.
“These attacks will not stop (the PFLP) from continuing its role in resistance to the occupation and confronting the crimes and projects that attempt to liquidate the Palestinian cause,” the PFLP said, commenting on the detention raids.
Jarrar’s detention also drew strong condemnation from the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, which described the political detention of leaders of the women’s movement as “part of many attempts to silence the free Palestinian voice that confronts the occupation and its attacks on the Palestinian people.”
The Progressive Labor Union Front in Palestine also described the arrest of Jarrar and Saafin as “racist, fascist actions aimed at silencing the voices of truth.”
More than 6,500 Palestinians are reportedly held at Israeli jails. Hundreds of the inmates have apparently been incarcerated under the practice of administrative detention, which is a policy according to which Palestinian inmates are kept in Israeli detention centers without trial or charge.
Some Palestinian prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to 11 years.
Press TV, Ramallah
Israel has started the construction of a new settlement north of the occupied city of Ramallah. Palestinians are now warning that Israel is planning to seize large tracts of their land in order to build roads for the illegal settlement. Press TV’s Mona Kandil reports from Ramallah.