Palestinians condemn Israel’s arrest of prominent leftist lawmaker Khalida Jarrar

Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar, who was arrested on 2 April from her home near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, seen on 27 August 2014 holding an Israeli order banishing her to Jericho, which she defied.

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Palestinian human rights groups and political parties are condemning the arrest by Israeli occupation forces of a prominent leftist politician.

Israeli occupation forces raided the home of Palestinian Legislative Council member Khalida Jarrar early on Thursday morning near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank and took her to an “undisclosed location,” according to Palestinian prisoners rights group Addameer.

Her arrest brings to 16 the number of Palestinian lawmakers currently in Israeli detention.

Jarrar’s daughter Yaffa told Ma’an News Agency that occupation forces surrounded the home, then demanded to see her mother. Israeli soldiers searched the house, seized two computers and a mobile phone and took Jarrar away.

Jarrar’s husband Ghassan told the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) that the occupation forces broke down the front gate of the building and searched the house for more than two hours.

Israeli occupation forces said they detained Jarrar, 52, a prominent member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, “for being the leader of a ‘terrorist organization,’ [who] had encouraged ‘terror activities’ over the last few weeks,” Ma’an News Agency reported.

Israel considers most Palestinian political factions and all forms of armed resistance to occupation to be “terrorist.”

Resisting banishment

Last August, Israeli occupation forces issued Jarrar with an order banishing her to Jericho. She defied the order and has remained in her home in the town of al-Bireh.

Addameer, on whose board of directors Jarrar sits, condemned the arrest as “an attack against Palestinian political leaders and Palestinian civil society as a whole.”

It notes that Jarrar, who suffers from chronic health issues, has been denied permission to travel abroad for necessary medical treatment except for one occasion.

PCHR condemned Jarrar’s detention as part of Israel’s policy of collective punishment of Palestinian civilians in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Several Palestinian political factions also added their condemnation.

Ma’an News Agency notes that Jarrar’s detention “came just one day after Muna Qadan, a political affiliate of Islamic Jihad, was sentenced to 70 months in prison by Israeli authorities for alleged illegal political activity.”

Palestinian Authority complicity

While Israel carried out the arrest, Addameer points to the Palestinian Authority’s direct complicity, because Jarrar’s home is in so-called “Area A” – part of the one fifth of the occupied West Bank ostensibly under full PA control.

Under the terms of the Oslo accords, Israeli occupation forces coordinate their entry into Area A with PA forces.

“Allowing Israeli occupying forces to enter Ramallah means that in effect the so-called ‘security coordination’ between Palestinian Authority security forces and Israeli occupying forces allowed for the expulsion of an elected representative of the Palestinian people, an elected representative who has continuously called for an end to such ‘coordination,’” Addameer said.

“Security coordination” is the policy of active collaboration between Palestinian security forces and the Israeli occupation that PA de facto leader Mahmoud Abbas has termed “sacred.”

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The practice of banishing political dissidents has a long and tawdry history, in many lands. In the case of Israel, the two immediate sources for these measures are the British emergency regulations imposed on Palestine in the 1940s by Her Majesty's forces, and the white racist government of South Africa. The latter introduced "banning orders" against individuals. These frequently involved the arbitrary transfer of the targeted person away from home surroundings and into a form of house arrest elsewhere. Israel was especially close to the South African government in the years of white rule, and appears to have adopted this as well as numerous other methods of that despotic regime.

Sixteen Palestinian lawmakers are presently in Israeli detention, without so much as a peep of protest from Abbas and crew. His devotion to the enforcement of the Occupation has been proven many times over. What's the Arabic for "quisling"?

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Abbas's so called term ended about 2009. The only reason he is kept around is because HE IS a quisling stooge of the Reich. The mob boss Benny Nutjob is his "capo di tutti i capi", (his fuhrer), as it were.

In short, Abbas is "married to the [racist criminal] mob" operating out of Tel Aviv since 1948.

Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.