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Palestinian lawmaker resists banishment, tells occupiers they must go

Adri Nieuwhof

September 1, 2014

Palestinian Legislative Council member Khalida Jarrar is resisting an Israeli occupation order to banish her from her home in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank to the district of Jericho for six months.

Jarrar has set up a protest camp at the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) — the Palestinian Authority legislature — in Ramallah where she will remain until the order is lifted. "It is the occupation who must leave our homeland," she has said.

Jarrar refused to sign the military order "to put her under special monitoring" that was handed to her by an Israeli occupation officer at her home in the early hours of 20 August.

Jarrar is a senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and a board member of Addameer Prisoner Support. Forced transfers are prohibited under international law.

In an interview with Wattan TV (below in Arabic with English subtitles), Jarrar said she refused to sign the military order as a matter of principle.

"You are an occupation that is killing my Palestinian people, you practice mass arrests, you demolish homes, you kidnap people from their homes, and you deport them, you must leave my home," she said of the Israelis.

Meanwhile, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Support Network has collected more than 2,000 signatures from organizations and individuals around the world who demand that Israel’s banishment order for Jarrar be overturned.

Persecution of elected Palestinian parliamentarians

The Israeli banishment order is clearly a continuation of the Israeli policy of targeting elected representatives of Palestinian in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, write Palestinian organizations in a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

There are currently 36 PLC lawmakers in Israeli prisons, 28 of them held in so-called "administrative detention" without even the pretense of charge or trial. Israel stripped three Jerusalemite lawmakers and one former minister of their Jerusalem residency before their arrest.

In 2006, Jarrar was elected to the Palestinian legislature and serves as the PLC representative to the Council of Europe but has never been able to attend the meetings in Europe due to a travel ban imposed on her in 1998. She was allowed only one time to travel abroad for medical treatment to Jordan in 2010.

The Palestinian organizations call for Ban’s immediate intervention in order to lift the military order for Jarrar’s forcible transfer and to demand that Israel halt its policy of targeting lawmakers and immediately release all imprisoned PLC members.

Targeting PFLP

However, Khalida Jarrar’s case is far from an isolated incident, said Charlotte Kates, coordinator of Samidoun. Ahmad Saadat, Jarrar’s colleague in the PLC and the PFLP’s General Secretary, has been imprisoned by Israel since 2006.

Earlier, Saadat was detained in a Palestinian Authority prison under US and British guard for four years under the infamous security coordination between the PA and Israel. When Israel feared Saadat would be freed, it attacked the prison in 2006 as the British and US guards stood aside, and Saadat and his comrades were kidnapped by the occupation army.

We have also seen in the past week raids and roundups of dozens of PFLP members, cadres and leaders in the West Bank, Kates wrote in an email. These arrest raids come not only at the same time as the expulsion order against Jarrar, but on the occasion of the thirteenth anniversary of the Israeli extrajudicial execution of PFLP General Secretary Abu Ali Mustafa in his Ramallah office on 27 August 2001.

The Israeli occupation regularly targets political groups on major dates and anniversaries in an attempt to thwart organizing and mobilization.

The entire system of political imprisonment is based on suppressing Palestinian organizing, Kates added. It works hand in hand with the Israeli assassination policy in an attempt to deprive the Palestinian people of their leaders, their organizers, their community and national voices.

And so the expulsion order against Khalida Jarrar is not an individual act, but part of a coordinated campaign to disrupt and suppress the PFLP as a Palestinian progressive, leftist, resistance party and the Palestinian resistance and liberation struggle as a whole, Kates noted.

Samidoun is inviting people to endorse this statement demanding the cancellation of the expulsion order against Khalida Jarrar.



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