A military court in the West Bank on Sunday sentenced Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar to 15 months in jail for “inciting terrorism” by calling for the abduction of IDF soldiers, and for violating an Israeli travel ban.
Jarrar, a senior member of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and a well-known political figure, accepted a plea deal and confessed to the 12 charges leveled against her. Those included violating an IDF travel ban, membership in an illegal organization — Israel considers the PFLP a terror group — participation in illegal protests, and incitement to kidnap Israeli soldiers.
“Jarrar was sentenced to 15 months on the charges she was arrested for a few months ago, including incitement of terrorism,” an army spokesperson told AFP on Monday.
In April, Jarrar was arrested and given a six-month term of detention without trial for violating an IDF order issued in August 2014 restricting her to the Jericho area. The period of incarceration since April will be counted toward her sentence, meaning she is likely to remain in jail until next summer.
The Palestinian prisoner rights group Addameer said she had also been fined NIS 10,000 and given a five-year suspended term.
At the time of her arrest, the IDF said she posed unspecified “substantial security risks.”
Israel’s coalition of Arab parties, the Joint List, slammed Jarrar’s sentence and said the charges brought against her were politically motivated.
“This government has nothing to offer other than scaring Israelis and oppressing and dispossessing Palestinians,” MK Aida Touma-Suleiman said in a statement on behalf of the party.
Touma-Suleiman said Jarrar’s actions were a justified defense of the rights of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation, and that she planned to rally Israeli MKs and parliament members from other countries to petition Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan for her release.
“Her place is not in prison, her place is in the legislature,” Touma-Suleiman said.
Issa Qaraqe, the Palestinian minister for prisoner affairs, also condemned the trial, calling it “arbitrary and legally unjustified.”
“This is a political arrest. The charges against her are fabricated and ridiculous… there are no security reasons as claimed by the Israeli authorities,” he told AFP.
The Palestinian parliament, of which Jarrar is a member, has not met since 2007, after elections a year earlier were won by the Islamist movement Hamas.
In August 2014 she was ordered to leave Ramallah within 24 hours and to move to Jericho, but announced at the time that she would disobey the order.