BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An Israeli military court brought 12 charges against Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jerrar earlier this week in connection to her PFLP membership, rights group says.
After being detained, interrogated, and held since April 2, Jerrar was charged by 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.
Jerrar’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 of the PLO, and association with such parties is often used as grounds for imprisonment, according to Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association Addameer.
Jerrar was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006 as a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Following her arrest on April 2, an Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma’an that Jerrar was detained for being the leader of a “terrorist organization,” and had encouraged “terror activities” over the previous few weeks.
Jerrar’s home in the Ramallah neighborhood of al-Bireh was raided by Israeli forces at the time of her arrest, after which she was interrogated at the nearby Ofer detention center before being taken to Hasharon prison inside of Israel.
The arrest came after Jerrar refused an initial deportation order from Israeli authorities in August
Detaining symbols of resistance
Jerrar has been targeted by Israeli authorities throughout her life, however Wednesday marked the fist time the lawmaker was officially charged by Israeli military courts, and Palestinian factions have decried her detention.
Legislative Council lawmaker Jamil al-Majdalawi said following her arrest that “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.”
Most recently, Jerrar was selected in February 2015 for the Palestinian committee in charge of conducting ICC investigation into crimes committed in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip. She is also vice chair of prisoner rights group Addameer.
From the time of her detention until receiving charges, Jerrar was held under administrative detention
Administration detention is a practice allowed international law that enables a state to hold a prisoner without charge or trial in extenuating circumstances, where the individual poses a significant and immediate threat and the state has no alternative options.
In practice, Israel routinely uses administrative detention to hold Palestinians indefinitely without trial, according to Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem.
Israeli is currently holding 14 PLC members in prisons, eight of which under administrative detention orders.
A review of Jerrar’s detention under the 12 charges will take place on April 29, the report said.