Skip to main content

Israel arrests leftist lawmaker Khalida Jarrar

Jarrar, said to have played a leading role in cementing Palestine's accession to the ICC, arrested in dawn raid near Ramallah
Khalida Jarrar is a parliamentarian and a well-known women's rights activist (AFP)

Israeli authorities on Thursday arrested a leading Palestinian parliamentarian from a left-wing militant group for disobeying an Israeli order barring her from the city of Ramallah.

Khalida Jarrar was arrested early on Thursday morning by 30 Israeli soldiers who raided her home in the West Bank city of al-Bireh, her family said. 

Jarrar is a senior political leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and is an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Two computers and a mobile telephone were confiscated from Jarrar’s home after it was searched, according to Jarrar’s daughter, Yafa Jarrar.

Military authorities are questioning Jarrar, and have not yet announced whether they plan to charge her.

In August 2014 an Israeli military court issued a “Special Supervision Order” demanding that Jarrar relocate from her hometown of Ramallah to Jericho, a small town some 23 kilometres to the west.

At the time, Israeli authorities said that she was a threat to public security, citing the politician’s “incitement and involvement in terror”.

Jarrar, also known for her women’s rights activism, has refused to comply with the order, telling Middle East Eye that it is “against international law to take people from the place where they live…and just drop them somewhere else”.

In a statement, the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) denounced what they called the “illegal” detention of Jarrar, who as an elected representative technically has parliamentary immunity.

“It is obvious that her arrest is politically motivated,” the statement read, stressing that 18 members of the Palestinian parliament are currently being detained by Israel.

According to a PLO spokesperson, Jarrar played a leading role in cementing the Palestinian Authority’s bid to join the International Criminal Court.

The bid went through on Wednesday, and will allow Israeli and Palestinian groups and individuals to be tried at The Hague for possible war crimes.

Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.