Israeli authorities will be releasing imprisoned Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar today, Friday June 3, according to the Arabic-language newspaper of the Communist Party of Israel, Al-Ittihad. Jarrar is to be released at the Jubara military checkpoint in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tulkarem. Official receptions for Jarrar are to be held Saturday and Sunday outside the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) building in Ramallah, according to her family.
Jarrar, an executive committee member of the PLO and leading member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), was arrested on April 2 at her home in Ramallah and was initially sentenced to six months of administrative detention – imprisonment without trial or charges being presented against the detainee.
However, following Jarrar’s arrest international pressure forced Israeli authorities to bring charges against her, all 12 of which focused on her political activity. Jarrar was charged with security-related offenses related to her membership and activities with the PFLP and accused of “inciting violence.” A military judge ordered Jarrar to be released on bail in May, claiming that there was not sufficient evidence to warrant seeing her as a security threat. However, another judge reversed the decision a week later, ordering her to remain in prison until her trial.
Last December, an Israeli military court sentenced Jarrar to 15 months in prison and a fine of 10,000 shekels (about $2,600), with an additional suspended sentence of 12 months. At the time, Jarrar accused the Israeli military prosecution of working to keep her in jail as long as possible, adding that “I did not expect anything from military courts. They are a joke, it’s like a big theater, I do not trust them and my detention has been political since the beginning.” Jarrar also said that she refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the court, stating that all charges made against her were “ridiculous” and related to completely legal activities, including social and political work as a member of parliament. Jarrar also heads the PLC’s prisoners’ committee and acts as the Palestinian representative in the Council of Europe, an international organization promoting human rights and democracy around the world. Her arrest was condemned by the international community, Palestinian and Israeli human rights groups, and Hadash and the Communist Party of Israel demanded her release.
According to the Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer, there are currently seven thousand Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons, including six incumbent Palestinian parliament members.
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