14 Palestinians arrested by Israel every night

Two Palestinian children walk past a mural of Khalida Jarrar, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, who remains jailed in Israeli prisons.

Palestinian children walk past a mural of Khalida Jarrar in Gaza City in April 2015. 

Ashraf Amra APA images

Human rights groups are renewing their calls on Israel to release Palestinian Legislative Council member Khalida Jarrar and all other so-called administrative detainees held without charge or trial.

Jarrar, a prominent leftist politician, was arrested on 2 July along with women’s union leader Khitam Saafin and 9 others in pre-dawn raids.

Saafin was released from Israel’s HaSharon prison on 1 October after spending three months in detention.

“I am thankful to those who took action on my behalf. I am also happy that I am released but at the same time sad that I left 56 women in Israeli jails who are suffering from poor conditions, especially those that need medical treatment,” Saafin told Amnesty International after her release.

Jarrar remains imprisoned under a six-month administrative detention order that can be renewed indefinitely.

She previously spent 14 months in administrative detention after an arrest in 2015.

Like all administrative detainees, neither Jarrar nor Saafin have been charged or tried, and are being held by Israel based on “secret evidence.”

Jarrar is a leader in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and a prominent advocate for Palestinian prisoners rights.

There are currently 13 Palestinian lawmakers in Israeli prisons according to prisoners rights group Addameer.

Average of 14 arrests per night

Last month, Israeli occupation authorities renewed the administrative detention of female Palestinian detainee Sabah Faroun for the sixth time.

She was arrested in June 2016 from her home in the village of al-Eizariya east of Jerusalem. Her four children, the youngest aged 5, were detained alone in a separate room in the house while soldiers strip-searched Faroun and transferred her to a detention center.

“Sabah’s family miss the presence of their mother and wife,” Addameer said. “Not knowing the reasons of her arrest or the date of her release increases their mental suffering.”

Since Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967, more than 10,000 Palestinian women have been arrested and detained by Israeli occupation forces.

“In 2017, Palestinian women and girls are routinely arrested from the streets, Israeli military checkpoints and during violent night raids on their homes during military incursions accompanied with the presence of Israeli soldiers, intelligence officers and police dogs, during which destruction of household items and property damage takes place,” Addameer stated earlier this year.

Also in September, Israeli authorities confirmed the administrative detention for six months of Palestinian-French human rights defender Salah Hamouri.

In September, 431 Palestinians were detained by Israeli occupation forces, according to Palestinian human rights groups.

That averages about 14 arrests every night.

There are currently more than 6,200 Palestinians in Israeli prisons, including 465 administrative detainees and 300 children.

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Tamara Nassar

Tamara Nassar is an assistant editor at The Electronic Intifada.