Khalida Jarrar released from Israeli prison after serving two years

Khalida Jarrar is a senior figure in the PFLP and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (Shadi Jararah - MEE)

MEE Staff

Middle East Eye  /  September 26, 2021

Prominent Palestinian politician and activist was refused permission in July to attend her 31-year-old daughter Suha’s funeral.

Israel released the prominent Palestinian politician and activist Khalida Jarrar on Sunday after she had served two years in prison. 

Jarrar, a senior figure in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), was detained in October 2019 for her role in the PFLP. 

She was initially held on administrative detention without charge or trial. An Israeli military court later sentenced her to two years in prison and a 4,000 Shekel ($1,250) fine based on secret evidence that was not shown to Jarrar or her lawyer. 

Earlier this year, the Israeli government denied Jarrar’s request to attend her eldest daughter Suha Ghassan Jarrar’s funeral after her sudden death.

Suha, a 31-year-old human rights defender and a research and advocacy officer for the Al-Haq human rights group, worked with various United Nations bodies – focusing on gender, climate change and human rights. 

The Israeli Prison Service refused to release Jarrar to attend the funeral because she was allegedly a “security threat” and posed a “[negative] leadership role” inside and out of prison. 

The human rights group Addameer, which supports Palestinian prisoners, condemned Israel’s refusal to temporarily release Jarrar on humanitarian grounds.

“The denial of Khalida Jarrar’s release to mourn the sudden death of her daughter and participate in burial rights stands in stark violation of protected recognition of human dignity and family rights under international law,” said Addameer. 

Multiple arrests

Eleven other elected Palestinian parliamentarians are currently in Israeli prisons. 

Jarrar was first arrested in 1989 and held for a month without trial.

In 2014, she was arrested for a second time and sentenced to 15 months in prison. Jarrar, who was the head of the PLC’s prisoners’ committee between 2015 and 2017, was arrested for a third time in 2017.

She was eventually released in February 2019, before being rearrested nine months later.

 As of July, there are 5,300 Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons, according to Addameer.