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Ali Abunimah

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April 6, 2015

Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar, who was arrested on 2 April from her home near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, seen on 27 August 2014 holding an Israeli order banishing her to Jericho, which she defied. (Oren Ziv / ActiveStills)

After seizing her from her home in the middle of the night last week, Israeli occupation forces have ordered that a Palestinian lawmaker be held without charge or trial for six months.

Palestinian Legislative Council member Khalida Jarrar was given a so-called “administrative detention” order on Sunday, the Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer said in a statement.

The group’s lawyer Mahmoud Hassan has visited Jarrar in Israel’s HaSharon prison. Jarrar, who suffers from a chronic illness, is taking her medications regularly, but is “in constant need of medical supervision,” Addameer added.

She is due to appear before an Israeli military tribunal on Wednesday to confirm the detention without charge or trial.

Jarrar is one of 15 Palestinian legislators and 23 female political prisoners currently detained by Israeli occupation forces, Addameer states.

Jarrar, a prominent member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, is closely involved in prisoner issues.

Last August, Israeli occupation forces issued Jarrar with an order banishing her to Jericho. She defied the order, remaining in her home in the occupied West Bank town of al-Bireh from where she was arrested by dozens of armed soldiers.

Gross violation

There are currently six thousand Palestinian political detainees in Israeli prisons, including almost 500 administrative detainees, according to Addameer’s most recent statistics.

Human rights defenders have consistently condemned Israel’s practice of prolonged detention of Palestinians without charge or trial.

In a 2012 report, Amnesty International called on Israel to stop using administrative detention – a relic of British colonial rule in Palestine – and urged “the immediate and unconditional release [of] prisoners of conscience held just for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly.”

Amnesty says that administrative detainees, like many other Palestinian prisoners, “have been subjected to violations such as the use of torture and other ill-treatment during interrogation, as well as cruel and degrading treatment during their detention, sometimes as punishment for hunger strikes or other protests.”

Administrative detention orders are indefinitely renewable.

Addameer says that it considers administrative detention to be a war crime under the terms of the Fourth Geneva Convention governing the rights of civilians in occupied territory.

Jarrar’s arrest, it states, is “part of the systemic targeting of Palestinian political figures in order to criminalize their work and to silence them and stop them from practicing their roles in defending and supporting the Palestinian cause.”