Israeli forces re-arrest senior PFLP member in Ramallah
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Israeli forces re-arrest senior PFLP member in Ramallah

Official says Khalida Jarrar was arrested on suspicion of ‘involvement in terror activity’; she recently spent 19 months in prison under an administrative detention order

Adam Rasgon is the Palestinian affairs reporter at The Times of Israel

Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar is greeted by supporters near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, June 3, 2016. (Majdi Mohammed/ AP)
Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar is greeted by supporters near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, June 3, 2016. (Majdi Mohammed/ AP)

Israeli security forces arrested Khalida Jarrar, a senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), early Thursday morning, less than a year after she was released from prison.

Security forces collared Jarrar, 56, in her home in Ramallah at approximately 3 a.m., her husband Ghassan Jarrar said.

An Israeli security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that troops arrested Jarrar.

The official added that she was being held on suspicions of “involvement in terror activity.”

Jarrar, who has long advocated for Palestinian prisoners, is a former PFLP lawmaker in the Palestinian Legislative Council, the Palestinian Authority parliament.

Israel, the United States and the European Union consider the PFLP, one of several member parties of the Palestine Liberation Organization, to be a terrorist organization.

In this undated illustrative photograph, Israeli troops search for the terrorists who committed a shooting attack on a bus stop outside the Ofra settlement in the West Bank, near Ramallah, in which seven Israelis were injured, including a pregnant woman, on December 9, 2018. (Israel Defense Forces)

Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the PLO Executive Committee, asked the international community to intervene on behalf of Jarrar.

“We demand the immediate release of Khalida Jarrar, a leader in Palestinian political and social work and women right’s issues. We call on the international community to pressure the Israeli government to free her,” he wrote on Twitter.

Ghassan Jarrar, who owns a toy factory, lashed out at Israel’s arrest of his wife, contending the Jewish state had no grounds to do so.

“This is an arbitrary and unjustified measure,” he said in a phone call. “Khalida was preparing to teach a course at Birzeit University next year on democracy and human rights. She has not recently been active in political work.”

In a statement on Thursday, the PFLP slammed Israel’s arrest of Jarrar and said it holds “the Zionist occupation totally responsible for Um Yaffa Jarrar’s life,” using her nickname.

In late February, Jarrar was released from prison after being held from July 2017 to February 2019 under an administrative detention order.

Administrative detention is a measure that allows Israel to detain Palestinians without indicting them or presenting details of the accusations against them.

Israeli security officials have defended the measure, arguing that issuing an indictment could force them to reveal sensitive security information. Palestinians and international rights groups, however, have criticized the practice, contending that Israel abuses it.

Jarrar also did a stint in prison in 2015 and 2016 after an Israeli military court convicted her of incitement to violence and “promoting terror activities.” She has denied those charges.

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