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Palestinian MP Jarrar released from Israeli prison

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Jarrar, a left-wing figure and member of the now-defunct PLC, was released by Israeli authorities on Sunday.

Palestinian political and civil society leader Khalida Jarrar, 58, has been released after close to two years in Israeli prisons.

Israeli authorities released Jarrar, a left-wing figure and member of the now-defunct Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), at the Salem checkpoint west of Jenin city on Sunday afternoon.

In July, one of Jarrar’s two daughters, 31-year-old Suha, died in Ramallah after health complications, leading to mass calls for Israel to release the politician early to attend her daughter’s funeral, which Israel rejected.

Jarrar is expected to head to the Ramallah Cemetery later on Sunday where Suha is buried, before a reception is held for her in Ramallah.

The Israeli army arrested Jarrar from her home in Ramallah on October 31, 2019, eight months after she was released following 20 months in administrative detention without trial or change.

She was held in administrative detention again until March this year when an Israeli military court charged her with “membership in an illegal organization” due to affiliation with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) political party, a charge over which she was previously imprisoned.

Ramallah-based Addameer prisoners’ rights group said at the time that “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 outlaws more than 400 organisations, including all Palestinian political parties – including the ruling Fatah party and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) – as “terrorist groups”.

It regularly sentences many Palestinians on the pretext of “membership in an illegal organisation” or “providing services to one” due to their political affiliations, or any kind of peaceful activity.

Jarrar has long been a target of the Israeli occupation due to her outspoken nature and political activism.

She has spent much of the last six years in and out of Israeli prisons, including between July 2017 and February 2019 in administrative detention, an Israeli policy that allows the imprisonment of Palestinians indefinitely, on “secret information,” without presenting them with formal charges or allowing them to stand trial.

In 2015, she was sentenced to 15 months over the same charge – “membership in an illegal organization”.

Israeli authorities have banned her from travel 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.



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