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Israel blocks jailed Palestinian MP Khalida Jarrar from attending daughter's funeral

Israeli prison service says Jarrar is 'classified as a security prisoner', barring her from temporary release
Jarrar - a member of the Marxist-Leninist organisation the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine - was sentenced in March to two years in prison.
Khalida Jarrar, a member of the Marxist-Leninist organisation the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was sentenced in March to two years in prison (AFP)

Israel on Monday barred imprisoned Palestinian lawmaker and political prisoner Khalida Jarrar from attending her daughter's funeral, a day after she died from cardiac arrest.

Jarrar - a prominent political activist and member of the Marxist-Leninist organisation the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) - was sentenced in March to two years in prison by an Israeli military court for "inciting violence" and belonging to a "banned organisation".

She was arrested at her home in Ramallah on 31 October 2019 and is slated to be released from prison in September. 

Jarrar's daughter, Suha, 31, was found dead on Sunday evening in her house in the city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian news media reported. Reports said she died of a heart attack and had previously suffered from illnesses, without giving more details.

Palestinians call on Israel to release jailed MP Khalida Jarrar for daughter's funeral
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Palestinian activists had called on Israel to temporarily release Jarrar, with an online petition saying she had the right to take part in her daughter's funeral.

However, Rafael Gana, assistant to the prison service commissioner, said that Jarrar's "request doesn't meet the prerequisites for consideration".

"The prisoner is classified as a security prisoner," Gana wrote, as reported by Haaretz.

"As a result, no one in the prison service, including the commissioner, has the authority to approve this request,” she added.

The prison service allowed Jarrar to make a phone call instead. The family decided to hold the funeral without her on Tuesday, after learning she was denied a request for temporary release to attend.

Palestinian police are still examining the circumstances of Suha's death. However, a preliminary investigation does not indicate any criminal wrongdoing. Family sources told Haaretz that the body will undergo an autopsy.

The lawmaker was first arrested in 1989 and held for a month without trial. In 2014, she was arrested for a second time and sentenced to 15 months in prison. Jarrar, who was the head of the PLC's prisoners' committee between 2015 and 2017, was arrested for a third time in 2017.

She was eventually released in February 2019, before being rearrested nine months later.