On April 2nd, Khalida Jarrar’s Ramallah home was raided by dozens of armed Israeli occupation forces. Khalida’s husband was locked in another room as the Palestinian parliamentarian and leader was forcibly taken from her home and arrested by Israeli forces. On April 15, The Israeli military court in Ofer convened a hearing on the case of imprisoned Palestinian parliamentarian, feminist and leftist political leader Khalida Jarrar, whose case has garnered widespread international support since her arrest on April 2. Jarrar had previously rejected an Israeli order to deport her from her home in Ramallah to Jericho, achieving a victory and the cancellation of the order.
Jarrar had previously been ordered to six months’ administrative detention; the hearing on April 15 was a rescheduling of the prior hearing on April 8, ostensibly to confirm the military order of administrative detention without charge or trial. Instead, on the April 15 hearing, the administrative detention order was confirmed; in addition, the military court leveled 12 entirely political charges against Jarrar, all of them related to her public speeches and political activities and advocacy for Palestinian political prisoners. It must be noted that nearly all Palestinian political parties and organizations, including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, are banned by the Israeli military occupation, by military order, and membership in those parties, attending public events, engaging in television interviews or giving public speeches may be prosecuted by the Israeli military occupation.
The military court hearing was attended by representatives of the European Union, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, and Amnesty International, in addition to other observer lawyers. “We were surprised by the prosecution, which explicitly said last week there were no grounds to detain her until the end of proceedings,” said Jarrar’s lawyer, Sahar Francis in Haaretz. “The indictment strengthens our argument that the imprisonment is vindictive.”
Despite the indictment, the military judge retained the administrative detention order, in order to continue to imprison Jarrar without trial and without providing any reasons to continue her detention and deny her release on bail. Her next hearing, on whether she will be imprisoned until trial on the charges, will be held on April 29, followed by a hearing on administrative detention May 6.