Israel Defense Forces Central Command chief Maj. Gen. Roni Numa has ordered the six-month administrative detention of Khalida Jarrar, a member of the Palestinian parliament. She was arrested last Thursday at home in the town of El Bireh, near Ramallah. Numa signed the order without citing any formal charges against Jarrar and without any hearing.
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Jarrar’s lawyer, Mahmoud Hassan, told Haaretz that the order was signed on the day of her arrest, April 2, implying that it was prepared in advance. She will be brought before a military judge at the Ofer base on Wednesday, according to routine procedures. Her lawyers will ask for the detention period to be detained.
The Israeli defense establishment claims that Jarrar, a senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was arrested for violating travel restrictions imposed on her last August that permitted her to remain only in the Jericho area. According to her lawyers, she was questioned at Ofer after her arrest, and then transferred to Hasharon prison.
According to Kaddoura Fares, head of an organization that looks after the welfare of Palestinian prisoners, Jarrar is a member of a Palestinian national committee that monitors procedures connected to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The timing of her arrest, just after the Palestinian Authority has joined the ICC, attests to what Fares calls persecution and vengefulness on Israel’s part. Indeed, the claim by attorney Hassan that the detention order was signed upon her arrest is seen by some as supporting that perception.
MK Aida Touma-Suliman (Joint List) condemned the detention order on Sunday. “This is just one more wrongdoing committed by the occupation. The denial of freedom to an entire people, including members of parliament, was carried out of all days on the day on which Jews celebrate their Exodus from slavery to freedom,” she said.
Saliman called on parliamentarians in Israel and abroad to work to revoke Jarrar’s detention order and also to free 16 other members of the Palestinian parliament who are imprisoned in Israel, including senior politician and Hamas member Aziz Dweik.