Military Court Hands Palestinian Lawmaker Khalida Jarrar 15-month Jail Sentence

Jarrar, who was charged with inciting to violence and of being a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, accepted a plea deal.

Khalida Jarrar.
Khalida Jarrar. AFP

An Israeli military court in the West Bank sentenced Palestinian legislator Khalida Jarrar to 15 months in jail on Monday in the wake of a plea bargain between the military prosecutor and her defense lawyers. Jarrar was charged with security-related offenses.

The court also handed her a 10-month suspended sentence and fined her 10,000 shekels ($2,600).

According to the plea bargain, Jarrar's indictment was amended so that she was convicted on one count of belonging to an illegal organization and another of incitement. She is a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The court noted that Jarrar was not being tried for being a member of the Palestinian parliament but rather for her activity in the PFLP.

Jarrar's attorney, Mahmoud Hassan from the "Admir" legal center, said that she only agreed to the plea deal because she doesn’t trust the court. "She doesn't expect [to receive] any justice from the court of the occupation, especially when the prosecution says that she will be held under an administrative detention order should" the court order her release, he said.

Jarrar, a mother of two, was arrested from her West Bank home on April 2, in what her husband said was a pre-dawn raid by dozens of masked Israeli soldiers who climbed over courtyard walls and broke down the door. She has been charged with inciting to violence and with membership in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a small leftist PLO faction banned by Israel.

"The decision of the occupation authorities to jail a member of parliament because of her political stance, and after eight months of administrative detention, proves that the Israeli government is bent on aggravating the escalation," MK Aida Touma-Suliman (Joint List) said. "This government has nothing to offer but scaring Israelis and oppressing and disinheriting Palestinians."

Jarrar, said MK Touma-Suliman, is a woman who fights for peace, the legitimate rights of her people, which is under occupation, justice, democracy and equality for women in her society. She added that Jarrar belongs in the legislature, not in jail.

MK Touma-Suliman announced that she would ask parliamentarians abroad to join the struggle to release Jarrar. She also turned to the Public Security Ministry on Monday, demanding an immediate meeting with Jarrar.