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Palestinian lawmaker Rabiha Diab dies at age 62

April 22, 2016 5:33 P.M. (Updated: April 23, 2016 6:33 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Fatah movement on Friday mourned the death of one of its representatives at the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), Rabiha Diab, who passed away aged 62.

Diab had been detained by Israeli forces seven times, spent a total of nearly seven years in Israeli jails, was sentenced to house arrest twice, and was prevented from traveling abroad by the Israeli authorities for 19 years of her life.

Over the course of her career, Diab was Minister of Women's Affairs from 2009 to 2013, a PLC member from 2006 until 2016, and Deputy Assistant Minister at the Youth and Sport Ministry in 2005.

The Fatah movement said it had lost an "iron woman" in Diab, who had dedicated her life to serving her cause and home country.

Diab was not alone in facing opposition from the Israeli authorities as a Palestinian political leader. Israel is currently holding six Palestinian lawmakers in prison, including two who have been denied trial.

These include PLC member Khalida Jarrar, a political activist and a feminist, who has been held since April last year in a case that sparked international outcry.

The majority of Palestinian political organizations are considered illegal by Israel, including those that make up the PLO, and association with such parties is often used as grounds for imprisonment.

Internal political problems have also plagued Palestinian politicians, and PLC itself has not met since 2007 following a major rift between Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas.
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