Palestinian MP Khalida Jarrar’s trial in Israeli military court has lasted more than six months. When the judge threatened to release her, the military prosecution said it would simply throw her back in administrative detention.
By Avi Blecherman
I’ve been in a few court hearings in my day. I’ve also seen a fair number of Law & Order episodes, and I’d like to think I have a pretty good idea of what a lineup of suspects is supposed to look like, be it an in-person or photo lineup. But nothing could have prepared me for the lineup I saw earlier this week during the trial of Palestinian member of Parliament Khalida Jarrar.
During his interrogation, the prosecution’s key witness was presented with seven photos. Six of the photos were of men. See if you can pick out which one of the photos is of the female Palestinian parliamentarian currently on trial?
The trial of Khalida Jarrar, an elected representative of the PFLP, has been going on for several months now at the Israeli army’s Ofer military court in the West Bank. Jarrar is on trial for 12 counts of membership and activism in her political party, which Israel has declared as an illegal organization. Almost all of the charges deal with her parliamentary activities, like participating in demonstrations, giving interviews to the media, visiting solidarity tents for prisoners and delivering speeches. The final charge is for incitement to kidnap soldiers, but the witness to that alleged incitement says he’s not sure he actually heard Jarrar speak the inciting words she is accused of speaking.
The trial has received significant international attention. Representatives of the European Union and human rights organizations have attended most of the trial in order to monitor the proceedings. The trial itself is only taking place because international pressure was put on Israel for initially holding Jarrar in administrative detention — imprisonment without trial. Palestinians in the West Bank are subject to military law and are brought before military tribunals instead of civilian courts. There has been a fair amount of criticism of the prosecution’s conduct in the case, which I began to understand when I attended a hearing of the trial on Sunday.
There is something unnerving about reading the strange charge sheet, which, as I said, includes giving media interviews. Jarrar has been imprisoned since last March, despite her senior...Read More