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Israel releases Palestinian lawmaker after months of 'administrative detention'

Israel releases Palestinian lawmaker after months of 'administrative detention' in jail
2 min read
28 February, 2019
Israeli authorities have released Khalida Jarrar after holding her for 20 months, her husband announced on Thursday.
Khalida Jarrar was detained in July 2017 [Getty]

Israeli authorities have released Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar after 20 months of holding her in administrative detention without raising charges, her family said.

The lawmaker's husband, Ghassan Jarrar, announced that she was freed on Thursday.

“Khalida Jarrar is free but she leaves behind over 50 Palestinian female political prisoners who are being held by the Israeli Zionist regime. Today is thus bitter sweet, in recognition that there can be no complete joy until all Palestinian political prisoners are free”, Palestinian academic Dr. Yara Hawari said.

Khalida Jarrar, 55, was arrested on July 2, 2017 for being a senior member in the left wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a movement considered a terrorist organisation by Israel, the United States and the European Union.

Details of the accusations against her were kept secret, as is customary with Israeli administrative detention orders, which allow detention without trial for renewable six-month periods.

A legislator in the largely defunct Palestinian parliament, she was given a six-month administrative detention order in July 2017.

The detention was extended the following December by another six months "after security personnel found she still poses a substantial threat," the Israeli army said then. Her detention continued to be extended until her release.

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Many PFLP leaders are in custody and Jarrar has been jailed multiple times.

She had only been released in June 2016 after 14 months in an Israeli jail for allegedly encouraging attacks against Israelis.

Israel says administrative detention is intended to allow authorities to hold suspects while continuing to gather evidence, with the aim of preventing attacks in the meantime.

But the system has been criticised by Palestinians, human rights groups and members of the international community who say Israel abuses the measure.

“This is the treatment reserved to Palestinians of all walks of life whenever they have the gall to resist their oppressors” activist Malia Bouattia wrote in an article for The New Arab.

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