The Israeli occupation military issued an order extending the arbitrary administrative detention of Palestinian parliamentarian and national leader Khalida Jarrar for an additional six months on Wednesday, 27 December 2017, four days before her detention was to expire. Jarrar was seized by occupation soldiers who invaded her home in El-Bireh on 2 July 2017. A well-known Palestinian leader, Jarrar is a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, head of its Prisoners’ Committee and Vice-Chair of the Board of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association.
Jarrar is one of 11 Palestinian parliamentarians imprisoned by the Israeli occupation, most of them jailed – like her – without charge or trial under administrative detention. She is one of three Palestinian women currently held in administrative detention, along with Khadija Ruba’i and journalist Bushra al-Tawil. There are a total of over 450 Palestinians imprisoned without charge or trial under administrative detention and over 6,100 total Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails.
Administrative detention is an artifact of the British colonial mandate over Palestine that allows the Israeli military to arbitrarily imprison Palestinians with no charge and no trial. It is frequently used to target community leaders like Jarrar, and its widespread and systematic use stands in violation of the Geneva Conventions and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Protests and statements from around the world, including from political parties and the South African government, have urged Jarrar’s immediate release. She has been subject to repeated and ongoing attacks by the Israeli occupation, including the attempt to forcibly displace her to Jericho from her Ramallah home in 2014, followed by her arrest and imprisonment in 2015. She was also ordered to six months in administrative detention then; however, following an international outcry, the administrative detention order against her was cancelled and she was instead ordered to the no less unjust Israeli military courts, sentenced on political charges and jailed until June 2016.
This latest renewal of Jarrar’s administrative detention comes hand in hand with the detention of over 500 Palestinians since the imperial Trump declaration by U.S. President Donald Trump purporting to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The mass arrests, including the targeting of youth activist Ahed Tamimi and former long-term hunger striker Khader Adnan, are an attempt to suppress the Palestinian people’s resistance to injustice and emerging uprising. This is part and parcel of an Israeli strategy that aims to deny the Palestinian people their active, principled leadership at a critical time of mobilization.