On Monday, July 12, Israel barred imprisoned Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar from attending the funeral of her daughter, Suha, who died the previous day of cardiac arrest. Suha Jarrar, 31, a research and advocacy officer at Palestinian human rights organization al-Haq, died on Sunday at her home in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Upon learning of Israel’s decision, Jarrar’s family members decided to hold the funeral without her on Tuesday.
Suha Jarrar conducted innovative research on the environmental impacts of the Israeli occupation, including a 2019 report arguing that discriminatory Israeli policies and practices impede the ability of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank to adapt to climate change. As point person on gender issues for al-Haq, she represented the organization when the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women deliberated on the situation of women in Palestine.
In an obituary, Al-Haq said that Suha was “a fierce advocate for the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, freedom, and dignity.” Al-Haq said it sent an urgent appeal to the United Nations calling for the “immediate and unconditional” release of Jarrar from Israeli prisons to bid farewell to her daughter.
Joint List lawmakers Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash) and Osama Saadi (Ta’al) asked Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev for help, but to no avail. “The prisoner is classified as a security prisoner, as such, her request doesn’t meet the prerequisites for consideration,” wrote Rafael Gana, assistant to the commissioner of the Israel Prison Service.
Khalida Jarrar is serving a two-year sentence for being a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and is due to be released in four months. She was convicted for membership in an illegal group under a plea bargain and was sentenced to 20 months in prison with a four-month suspended sentence. Khalida spent long stretches, including between July 2017 and February 2019, in administrative detention without trial and charge.
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