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PLO committee slams 'arbitary' detention of Khalida Jarrar

April 7, 2015 2:52 P.M. (Updated: April 10, 2015 11:58 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Higher National Committee has lashed out against the "arbitrary decision" by Israeli military courts on Sunday to sentence Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member Khalida Jarrar to six months' administrative detention.

In a statement released Tuesday, the PLO committee tasked with following developments at the International Criminal Court said her arrest was "an outrageous violation of her parliamentary immunity."

The committee called on a range of international political and legal bodies, as well as all states party to the Geneva Convention, "to intervene and exert pressure on Israel to immediately and unconditionally release Jarrar."

It added that "Israeli practices constitute a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law," amounting to crimes against humanity.

Israeli forces detained Jarrar, also a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, after raiding her home in the al-Irsal neighborhood of al-Bireh near Ramallah on Thursday night.

An Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma'an that she was detained for being the leader of a "terrorist organization," and had encouraged "terror activities" in recent weeks.

The Higher National Committee said it is holding the Israeli authorities "responsible for Jarrar's life and security," and said that her arrest "was politically motivated and came as a punishment for Jarrar's national activism."

She was arrested following her refusal to agree to an Israeli army decision ordering her to relocate her from the Ramallah district to Jericho.

The committee statement said that her arrest was part of Israel's continuing "policy of collective punishment and retribution against the Palestinian people and their elected leadership."

It said that 15 PLC members are currently held in Israeli administrative detention, and decried the living conditions of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails, as well as "the policy of collective punishment, suppression and solitary confinement imposed on them by the Israeli prison administration."

Prisoner rights group Addameer says that Khalida Jarrar has suffered chronic medical issues in the past.

Since 1998, Israel has denied her permission to travel to receive medical treatment, with the exception of one occasion when she was allowed to travel to Jordan "following diplomatic pressure and international campaigning."

In a statement issued on Sunday, Addameer said: "The arrest of Khalida Jarrar constitutes an attack against Palestinian political leaders and Palestinian civil society as a whole. It also constitutes one arrest in the context of continuous arrest campaigns against Palestinians."

There were over 6,000 Palestinians detained in Israeli jails as of April 1, 2015, according to the Palestinian Prisoners' Society.
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