Israel rearrests Palestinian MP, daughter says

Jerusalem (AFP) –


Israeli forces on Thursday rearrested a Palestinian lawmaker who was freed in February after being held without trial for 20 months over links to an outlawed leftist group, her daughter said.

"My mother Khalida Jarrar was arrested from our house in Ramallah" at about 3:00 am (0100 GMT), Jarrar's daughter Yafa posted on Facebook.

Spokespeople for Israel's Shin Bet security service, which generally directs such arrests, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Jarrar, 56, was previously arrested on July 2, 2017, for being a senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a movement considered a terrorist organisation by Israel, the United States and the European Union.

The Ramallah-based Palestinian Prisoners Club told AFP that Palestinian writer Ali Jaradat, a known PFLP member, was also arrested overnight, as well as 10 other people whose identities the club did not disclose.

Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi condemned the arrests.

"We strongly condemn the overnight raids of Ramallah, Bethlehem and other Palestinian cities by Israeli occupation forces and their targeted detention of several activists, including elected representative and political leader Khalida Jarrar," she said.

"This is the third time Israeli occupation forces detain representative Khalida Jarrar, who is also a prominent human rights defender."

Jarrar is a member of the largely defunct Palestinian parliament where she represents the PFLP.

Shortly after last year's arrest, she was given a six-month administrative detention order, which was then extended several times.

Israeli administrative detention orders allow suspects to be held without charge for renewable six-month periods.

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

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

The Israeli army said that after one such extension of Jarrar's custody, "security personnel found she still poses a substantial threat".

She had also been jailed in the past.

In December 2015, an Israeli military court convicted Jarrar on charges including encouraging attacks against Israel and violating a travel ban.

It sentenced her to 15 months in prison, but she was freed a month early due to overcrowding in Israeli jails.