Thursday, December 28, 2023

Israeli army detains Palestinian left political leader, PFLP member, Khalida Jarrar

Israeli occupation army has detained senior Palestinian Left political leader Khalida Jarrar from her home in the West Bank. Witnesses told WAFA that Israeli forces raided the city of Al Bireh, and arrested Jarrar after searching her home.

Jarrar is a prominent figure in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the second largest faction in the Palestine Liberation Organization, and was elected a member of the legislative council in the last parliamentary elections held in 2006.

Jarrar was born in the city of Nablus in the northern West Bank on February 9, 1963. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Democracy and Human Rights from Birzeit University. She served as a Director of Addameer Prisoners’ Support and Human Rights Association from 1994 to 2006, when she was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC)—the Palestinian Parliament. She now heads the PLC’s Prisoners Commission, in addition to her role on the Palestinian National Committee for follow-up with the International Criminal Court.

Khalida Jarrar’s high profile as a Palestinian leader dedicated to exposing Israeli war crimes to international institutions has made her a target of frequent Israeli arrests and administrative detentions. She has been arrested several times, first in 1989, on the occasion of International Women’s Day. She spent a month in prison for taking part in the March 8 rally.

In 2015, she was detained in a pre-dawn raid by Israeli occupation soldiers, who stormed her house in Ramallah. Initially, she was held in administrative detention without trial but, following an international outcry, Israeli authorities tried Khalida Jarrar in a military court, where 12 charges, based entirely on her political activities, were made against her. Some of the charges included giving speeches, holding vigils and expressing support for Palestinian detainees and their families. She spent 15 months in prison.

Khalida Jarrar was released in June 2016, only to be arrested again in July 2017, when she was also held under administrative detention. The Israeli raid on her home was particularly violent, as soldiers destroyed the main door of her house and confiscated various equipment, including an iPad and her mobile phone.

She was interrogated at Ofer Prison before being transferred to HaSharon Prison, where many Palestinian female prisoners are held. She was released in February 2019, after spending nearly 20 months in prison. Once more, Khalida Jarrar was arrested from her home in Ramallah on October 31, 2019. During her latest imprisonment, one of her two daughters, Suha, passed away at the age of 31. Despite an international campaign to allow Khalida to attend her daughter’s funeral on July 13, 2021, the Israeli government rejected all appeals. 

More than 300 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank since Oct. 7 in addition to over 3,100 others injured, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, and detained close to 5,000.