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Israeli court brings 12 charges against MP Khalida Jarrar

April 18, 2015 1:13 P.M. (Updated: May 21, 2015 4:18 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- An Israeli military court has brought 12 charges against Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar in connection to her membership of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, an international rights group said.

Having been detained and interrogated since Apr. 2, Jarrar was charged by the Israeli military prosecution on Wednesday, according to a report released Friday by Amnesty International.

Charges included membership of an illegal organization, participation in protests, and incitement to kidnap Israeli soldiers.

A review of the charges against her will take place on Apr. 29, the report said.

Jarrar's defense team argued there was no basis to the incitement charge and that it was vindictive, according to Amnesty's report.

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, according to prisoners' rights group Addameer.

Jarrar was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006 as a member of PFLP.

Jarrar was detained on Apr. 2 from her home in the Ramallah neighborhood of al-Bireh, and was afterwards held and interrogated at the Ofer detention center. She was later taken to Hasharon prison inside Israel.

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

The arrest also came after Jarrar refused a deportation order from Israeli authorities in August, demanding that she leave the Ramallah district for Jericho.

'A symbol of resistance'

Jarrar has been targeted by Israeli authorities throughout her life, although Wednesday was the first time the lawmaker had been officially charged by Israeli military courts.

Palestinian factions have decried the arrest, with one PLO committee saying it was "an outrageous violation of her parliamentary immunity."

Legislative Council lawmaker Jamil al-Majdalawi said: "Israel does not lose a chance to attempt to break the resistance's will, the people's resistance and their leadership symbols, and Khalida Jarrar is one of those symbols of resistance."

In February, Jarrar joined the Palestinian committee in charge of conducting an International Criminal Court investigation into Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity.

She is also vice-chair of prisoners' rights group Addameer.

Until the charges against her on Wednesday, Jarrar had been held in Israeli prisons under administrative detention.

Palestinians held in administrative detention are often held without charge or trial for months and without access to the evidence that led to their detention, even though international law stipulates this tactic only be used in exceptional circumstances.

Israeli prisons currently hold 14 members of the PLC, eight of them in administrative detention.
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