The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns in the strongest terms the Israeli trial of Khalidah Jarrar, Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) and one of the most prominent defenders of human rights and political prisoners. PCHR calls upon the international community and organizations to pressurize the Israeli authorities to immediately release Khalidah Jarrar and allow her to practice her parliamentary and political duties.
Jarrar is a PLC Member representing Abu Ali Mostafa Bloc, member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), head of the PLC Prisoners Committee, former director of al-Dameer Association for Supporting Prisoners and Human Rights and currently Vice Chairman of the Association’s Board of Directors.
On 06 December 2015, the Israeli Military Court in Ofer, west of Ramallah, sentenced Jarrar to 15-months in jail and suspended sentence of 12 months within a five-year period and imposed NIS 10,000 as a fine. Moreover, the Military Court accused her of being member in an outlaw movement and incitement against Israel in addition to participating in activities against Israel; one of which was held in 2009. This revealed that the court motives were political on grounds of her political career and peaceful struggle.
Commenting on this trial, Raji Sourani, Director of PCHR, said, “This trial was a political one that targets human rights defenders, fighters for freedom and Palestinian right to self-determination.” Sourani added, “The Israeli military courts are part of Israel’s tools to suppress Palestinian civilians. Additionally, these courts lack the minimum standards of a fair trial.”
On 02 April 2015, after raiding her house, Israeli forces arrested Jarrar in al-Bireh and took her to Hasharon Prison for women in Israel. After which, on 05 April 2015, the Israeli military commander issued an order putting PLC member Khalidah Jarrar under a six-month administrative detention, but it was reduced to 2 months. Jarrar has been under arrest since then pending the trial.
It should be mentioned that, the Israeli forces raided her house previously on 20 August 2014 and handed her a military order transferring her from her house in Ramallah to Jericho until 19 February 2015 under the the pretext of “posing threat to the region security, so she should be placed under private surveillance”. However, Jarrar refused to sign the order that was written in Hebrew, but Jarrar refused to comply with the order and held a sit-in in the PLC yard in Ramallah. Later on, Israeli forces reduced the transfer period to one month, which already ended in mid-September 2014.
In light of the above:
- PCHR strongly condemns detaining PLC Member Khalidah Jarrar by the Israeli authorities and calls for immediately releasing her and all PLC members detained in Israeli prisons.
- PCHR stresses that the bill of indictment against Jarrar is evidence that Israel is trying her for her political affiliation in violation of international law and humanitarian law.
- PCHR calls upon the international community, including the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, to fulfill their obligations and take immediate action to stop violations of international law perpetrated by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians.