Israel extends detention of female Palestinian lawmaker

June 17, 2018 GMT

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel on Sunday said it has extended the detention of a female Palestinian lawmaker held without charge over the past year for an additional four months.

Khalida Jarrar had been scheduled to be released on June 30. But the army said a military court had determined that the 55-year-old woman continued to pose a security threat. Her husband denounced the decision as “political.”

Jarrar is being held under Israel’s policy of “administrative detention,” which allows it to hold people for months or even years at a time without without pressing charges.

Israel says it uses administrative detentions only in exceptional cases that threaten security, while critics say the policy is used too often and violates the right to due process. Lawyers say it is impossible to defend their clients because they are not allowed to view evidence against them.

In 2015, Jarrar, who is well-known for her fiery speeches and public appearances, served 15 months after being convicted of incitement to violence and “promoting terror activities.” Jarrar, a senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was arrested again last year and has remained in administrative detention.

The PFLP is a left-leaning faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization that opposes Israel’s right to exist. It is considered a terrorist group by Israel, the U.S. and other Western countries.

The military said the extension was based on “secret information” and determined Jarrar “still presented a substantial threat.”

Her husband, Ghassan, accused the military of fabricating the case against his wife.

“It’s a political detention,” he said. “In her trial, Israeli security failed to provide any proof against her. Therefore, they referred her to administrative detention.”


Associated Press writer Mohammed Daraghmeh in Ramallah, West Bank, contributed to this report.