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Military court orders feminist Palestinian lawmaker released on bail

The military prosecution is planning to appeal the decision, and may even try to send Jarrar back into administrative detention.

Khalida Jarrar, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and a leader in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, poses for a photo showing an internal expulsion order given to her by Israeli soldiers who invaded her home in Ramallah in the early hours of August 20, Ramallah, West Bank, August 27, 2014. Jarrar was ordered to go to Jericho within 24 hours, but she refused to sign the paper. She is determined to stay in a protest tent in front of the Palestinian Council in Ramallah until the decision is revoked.

Khalida Jarrar, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and a leader in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, poses for a photo showing an internal expulsion order given to her by Israeli soldiers who invaded her home in Ramallah in the early hours of August 20, Ramallah, West Bank, August 27, 2014. 

An Israeli military court rejected the military prosecutor’s request Thursday to detain Palestinian Legislative Council member Khalida Jarrar until the end of legal proceedings. Jarrar was arrest in April by Israeli soldiers. She was first held in administrative detention, although she was later released and sentenced.

The court found that there is no reason to hold Jarrar in detention until the end of proceedings, and ruled that she would be freed on NIS 20,000 bail. The military prosecutor, however, has three days to appeal the ruling. According to Addameer, a Palestinian NGO that works to support Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli and Palestinian prisons, representatives from the military prosecution have made clear that they either intend to appeal and/or ask to put her back in administrative detention, which would see her indefinitely detained with no indictment, while her present case is resolved in court.

Jarrar, a feminist activist who works on issues of prisoner rights and belongs to the Palestinian parliament on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), was accused by the military prosecution of belonging to a “terrorist organization.” Most of the accusations leveled against her touch on her political activism, which includes participation in demonstrations, visits to solidarity tents with Palestinian prisoners and more.

In a hearing last week Jarrar’s attorney, Mahmoud Hassan, pointed out that some of the incidents mentioned in the indictment took place years ago, and claimed that the army has refrained from arresting her until now, despite having a number of opportunities. This, he claimed, shows that the army does not view her actions as dangerous. The military court adopted Hassan’s line of argument in its ruling Thursday.

Palestinian political activists believe that Jarrar’s arrest stems from the fact that she is one of the more vocal opponents of the Palestinian Authority’s security coordination with Israel, as well as her membership in the PA team that is formulating claims against Israel in the International Criminal Court.

Alongside Jarrar are 16 other members of the Palestinian Legislative Council who are currently being held in Israeli prisons. Nine of them, including Hamas member Aziz Dweik, are in administrative detention, which means they are being held indefinitely have neither stood trial nor been sentenced. Elected officials around the world, including members of the Joint List, have called for Jarrar’s release.

This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

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    1. Weindeb

      Terrible

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