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Military court sentences feminist Palestinian lawmaker to 15 months

Following eight months under administrative detention and a lengthy trial, Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar signed a plea bargain that will send her to prison for 15 months.

By Yael Marom

Palestinian parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar in Ofer military court, June 22, 2015. (photo: Haggai Matar)

Palestinian parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar in Ofer military court, June 22, 2015. (photo: Haggai Matar)

An Israeli military court sentenced Palestinian parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar to 15 months in prison on Sunday. Jarrar, who is a prominent critic of the Palestinian Authority — and specifically its security coordination with Israel — was sentenced after eight months imprisonment, some of which were spent in administrative detention.

As part of a plea bargain, Jarrar admitted to charges of incitement, as well as belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine — a party she represents in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) — which is defined by Israel as a proscribed organization. Jarrar’s trial included 25 separate hearings. In order to attend each hearing, Jarrar was often forced to travel over 20 hours while handcuffed.

Jarrar was accused on 12 counts, the majority of which involved her parliamentary work and activism, including participation in protests, an interview with the media, a visit to a solidarity tent for Palestinian prisoners, and giving speeches. She was accused of one count of incitement to kidnap soldiers, however the witness on this count stated that he was not sure that he heard Jarrar say anything to this effect.

Jarrar was arrested in April of this year at her home and was placed under house arrest for several months, after she refused to follow an internal expulsion order demanding she move to Jericho within 24 hours for a period of 1.5 years. Following her arrest, Jarrar was placed under administrative attention, which led to a worldwide campaign advocating for her release. She was eventually released from administrative detention and put on trial.

Palestinian member of Knesset and head of the Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality Aida Touma Suleiman (Joint List) responded to Jarrar’s sentence, saying that the decision of the “occupation authorities to imprison a member of parliament for her political positions, and after eight months of administrative detention, proves that the government of Israel is seeking to inflame the situation. This government has nothing to propose but instilling fear in Israelis and oppressing and dispossessing Palestinians.

“My friend Khalida Jarrar,” continued Touma, “is a woman who struggles for peace, for the legitimate rights of her people who are living under occupation, for justice, democracy, and equality for women in her society. Her place is not in prison, it is in the parliament.”

Khalida Jarrar, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, leader in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and longtime advocate for Palestinian political prisoners, showing an internal expulsion order given to her by Israeli soldiers who invaded her home in Ramallah at 1:30 am on August 20, 2014, ordering her leave Ramallah to Jericho within 24 hours. (Activestills.org)

Khalida Jarrar, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, leader in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and longtime advocate for Palestinian political prisoners, showing an internal expulsion order given to her by Israeli soldiers who invaded her home in Ramallah at 1:30 am on August 20, 2014, ordering her leave Ramallah to Jericho within 24 hours. (Activestills.org)

Recently, Avi Blecherman exposed how during one of the court hearings, the prosecution’s key witness was presented with seven photos, and asked to identify Jarrar. Six of the seven photos were of men. The judge reprimanded the military prosecution for dragging out the hearings indefinitely, warning that if the pace does not pick up, he will be forced to release her. The prosecution then threatened to forgo the criminal procedure and request she be placed back under administrative detention.

Jarrar was elected to the PLC in January 2006, following years of political activism in support of women and prisoners. She is married, has two daughters, and is the first woman to be elected to the PLC on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Between 1993 and 2005, she headed the Palestinian NGO Addameer, a Palestinian NGO that supports Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli and Palestinian prisons, and remained a member of the PFLP’s managing committee even after her election.

Beyond her parliamentary work, Jarrar has been a left-wing and feminist activist for years. Over the past year she has been involved in the Palestinian Authority’s bid to the International Criminal Court over allegations of Israeli war crimes against Palestinians, which many claim is the real reason for her arrest and continued detention.

Jarrar isn’t the only Palestinian lawmaker in prison. According to Addameer, five other members of the PLC are currently imprisoned by Israel, some of them under administrative detention.

Yael Marom is Just Vision’s public engagement manager in Israel and a co-editor of Local Call, where this article was originally published in Hebrew.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Stan Squires

      I am from Vancouver,Canada and I wanted say that it is the apartheid Israeli gov’t that is in the wrong and should be charged with war crimes against the Palestinian People.Khalida Jarrar is supported by the majority of people in the world.The 15th month sentence by the apartheid Israeli court to Khalida Jarrar should be condemned worldwide.This is a travesty of justice and it shows what Israeli apartheid gov’t is like.It is people like Khalida Jarrar that will free Palestine from Israeli apartheid.

      Reply to Comment
      • Merkava

        Here is part of what the article said:

        “As part of a plea bargain, Jarrar admitted to charges of incitement” to kidnap Israeli citizens.

        Thus, Ms. Jarrar PLEADED guilty in the face of irrefutable evidence.

        So, does sTan support the kidnapping and murder of Israelis? If yes, does that not make sTan racist thug? Or, is STAN now going to STAND up and affirm that Khalida Jarrar committed serious terrorist felony that would have seen her several years, if not for life, behind bars if she had committed that crime against the United States of America, for example?

        Answer the question, squire! LoL….

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          You like to extract pleas from people, do you, Miss Merav in the Merkava? You like forced plea extractions? You think that’s cool? You like to humiliate people? You seem like the kind of girl who would take right to the task of making life miserable for people at checkpoints for no other reason than that you can. With gusto. You’re a natural. You’d excel at that kind of thing. You certainly wouldn’t need any encouragement. You let it shine here with the coldly obtuse interpretation of the plea, the characteristically rude assh*listic tone of voice, the brutish interrogational style. You’ll do well.

          (Wait for it: sexual obsessions about Ginger, you’re really Stan, get a job, rambling mumbo jumbo, Jews Jews Jews, blah blah blah, woof sheesh woof…. LoL.)

          Reply to Comment
          • Merkava

            You CLAIM that you come from the United States, did you not, BEN?

            Well, according to the United States Bureau of Justice Statistics (2005), in 2003 there were 75,573 cases disposed of in federal district court by trial or plea. Of these, about 95 percent were disposed of by a guilty plea

            – See: Pastore, A., and Maguire, K. (2003). Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics: 2002. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

            This is also the case – as of TODAY! As you can see, stAn, plea bargain is well entrenched in the country you claim to come from and is practiced on a far higher rate than in Israel. But of course, you have no idea of what goes on in the country you claim to come from and you don’t care. ONLY when you hear the words “Jews” and/or “Israel”, your dull, senile mind and confused sense of “justice” suddenly gets lucid and starts ranting like a maniac against Jews and the Jewish State for something you take for granted in your own country and elsewhere. Just take a look at your two vile posts above, clown.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Oh! I plead, I plead to a lesser charge! You win! I plead! Excited now, honey bun?

            You like to soften em up with 20-hour handcuffed rides, months of house arrest, arbitrary expulsion orders, 8 months of administrative detention, threats to replace under administrative detention, and god knows what else? You like that don’t you sweet pea? You like persecution of legislators for political speech? That get you going?

            Reply to Comment
          • Merkava

            1. Ms. Jarrar – in the face of irrefutable evidence – PLEADED guilty to incitement to kidnap Israelis.

            What part of that is too difficult to get thru your thick pig-skull?

            2. Ms. Jarrar we have been told over and over again is a “LAWYER”!
            Are you too dense and stoned to understand that?

            3. According to the United States Bureau of Justice Statistics (2005), in 2003 there were 75,573 cases disposed of in federal district court by trial or plea. Of these, about 95 percent were disposed of by a guilty plea.

            Address those questions, moron, and quit looking for a face saving way out!

            BTW
            We will get to that “honey bun” stuff latter. Get your popcorns and chilled coke ready folks….this gonna get waaay too hilarious. This BEN-guy, who also poses as a chic (by posting ON THIS SITE as Eva, Lauren and Eliza) is about to entertain us again.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Getting really hot now aren’t you hunbun? Telling us lies is an aphrodisiac for you. You’re a sick puppy.

            Reply to Comment
          • Merkava

            BEN, explain to the readers WHY you are AGAIN posting sexual comments on this site – this time: to other MEN calling them “honey bun”, “hunbun”, “sweet pea”! You have admitted on this site that you retired several years ago. That means you must be between your late 60s and early 70s. So, Why is an old man on the one hand posing as a chic and on the other hand posting sexual comments to other MEN?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Wow. A veritable orgasm of lies. Not one single truthful statement. You really got off this time. Feel better, hun?

            Reply to Comment
          • Daniel

            Merkava, those who have been pointing out that Ben is psychotic could not have described him better. He also posted sexual comments to me when he confused me with Ginger Eis. Apparently Ben thinks that you are Merav and is going down his psychotic sexual path once again and hallucinating about “honey bun”, “sweet pea”, “veritable orgasm”, etc. The old man is a complete mess and needs serious psychiatric help.

            Reply to Comment
      • Hadara Zemel

        I love it when bleeding heart liberal americans presume to know how Israel, a free and democratic society, should conduct itself. We are discussing an ARAB woman in Israeli parliament, who is free to vote, leave her house without a male escort, and march around Israel who has no worries that she will be killed at a bus stop, or in a temple, or on the street. Her cohorts, like Hanin Zoabi, stand on the steps of Knesset and incite arabs to violence against Jews. What apartheid, where? You, sir, are a mental defective who has allowed himself to be swept away by arab propaganda. You know nothing. The only apartheid in my country is the signs in front of arab towns that warn Jews that entrance into arab villages may result in death. Get a job, get a life and go apologize to your mother for being so gullible.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          This is interesting. Israeli guy phones in, tells Yael Marom and us, “hey I’m Israeli I know what’s going in my own country buddy!,” then proceeds to tell us that Palestinian legislator Khalida Jarrar is in the Israeli parliament along with Hanin Zoabi! (A mental move that at once suggests gross ignorance, even disdain, merges Jarrar and Zoabi into one faceless demonized Arab mass, and paints Zoabi as vaguely non-Israeli, serving at Israel’s pleasure.) And, will have us know that Jarrar is even an ARAB! Oh, my god, one of those! And we even let them vote! Aren’t we awesome? (Unless they “go in droves” to vote and then the PM invokes emergency wartime call up language–which works!.) And then tells us that Khalida Jarrar, who has been since April threatened and imprisoned as noted by Marom, and who rarely if ever is allowed either inside Israel or elsewhere, is actually, you American dunderheads, “free to vote, leave her house without a male escort, and march around Israel who has no worries that she will be killed….” (In fact Arabs have well-justified worries–read *any* essay by Samah Salaime here.) Oh, and, like “her cohorts…like Hanin Zoabi,” Jarrar can even “stand on the steps of Knesset”! And as if all that is not enough, Hasbara Zemel marches onwards to tell us about “signs in front of arab towns that warn Jews” of death, yet neglects to tell us about the death by erasure of Arabic from Israel’s signs
          http://972mag.com/how-israel-is-erasing-arabic-from-its-public-landscape/114067/
          We’re, um, grateful for the clarification, Zemel. On how Mr. Israel Q. Public thinks.

          Reply to Comment
          • Merkava

            But you see, BEN/StanSquires/Eliza/Eva/Weiss/etc., you are known to be using different aliases here for different purposes. Sometimes you create an “extremist Israeli” and say crazy stuff and then come back as BEN to respond to- and correct the imaginary extremist Israeli YOU created to somehow discredit Israelis and get some momentary emotional satisfaction. We understand your game and keep quiet about it sometimes, while monitoring your behavior, lunatic. And you know what? You can spend what remains of your old life on the comment sections of Jewish websites ranting and raging against Jews and Israel, but in the end you achieve NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING. There ain’t nothing you can do to us – except perhaps put on your suicide vest and blow yourself up. Is that what ya wanna do, old man?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            This is not interesting. Troll phones in. Says nothing.

            Reply to Comment
          • Merkava

            You were busted long ago, BEN!

            Now, go find a job and be useful to at least yourself, instead of living out what is left of your life entirely on the comment sections of Jewish websites hallucinating, ranting and raging against Jews and Israel.

            Get a life, BEN.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Another crank call from my heavy breathing stalkeress.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”…call from my heavy breathing stalkress…”

            LOL, Benny’s Freudian slip? behold, Benny’s wet dream…

            Reply to Comment

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