From Damon’s Israeli prison for Palestinian prisoners, captive leader Khaleda Jarrar is running in the parliamentary elections scheduled for May 22.
Khaleda Jarrar is one of 400 Palestinian activists on 35 electoral rolls to stand for the upcoming Legislative Council elections. Jarrar, 56, faces a two-year prison sentence since his arrest at his home in the city of Al-Bireh, in the central West Bank, at the end of October 2019. Read also After 20 months, Khaleda Jarrar freezes Tortures and humiliating searches … 35 Palestinian women in Israeli prisons face abuse
Biography of struggle and popular acceptance
Her husband, Ghassan Jarrar, who has been banned for more than a year, says broad Popular Front bases insisted that Khaleda figure prominently on the electoral roll due to his long electoral career and his popular acceptance among Palestinians.
Jarrar started her political activity in the mid-seventies when she became active in volunteer work in Nablus, then moved to study at Birzeit University and was one of the most prominent female student leaders, and after graduating, she became active in the national feminist movement. .
In March 1989, Jarrar was the head of the largest Palestinian women’s march in which more than 5,000 women participated, which started from the town of Al-Bireh in Ramallah, and the occupation attacked and arrested a large many of its participants, including Khaleda, who was beaten during the arrest and investigation, and was tried for resisting and inciting the occupation.
Support Palestinian prisoners
Over the next few years, Jarrar became active in the field of human rights for Palestinian prisoners and served as director of the Addameer Association for the Care of Prisoners. She suffered from the harassment of the occupation and her husband was arrested over 10 people. time.
Since the late 1990s, Jarrar has been banned from traveling for many years. In 2006, she was elected a member of the Legislative Council in the second parliamentary elections held since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, and although she was disrupted by the Palestinian divide, Jarrar headed the Council’s Prisoners Committee.
During this time, Jarrar represented Palestine at the Elysee Human Rights Summit in France and participated in several international human rights conferences.
Other arrests for strange reasons
In the context of its national activities, the occupation decided in 2014 to expel him from the city of Al-Bireh to Jericho in the south, so it rejected the decision and held a sit-in at the council headquarters. legislative in Ramallah for a month. . Her husband says she “was the first Palestinian official to rebel against such a decision.”
After her sit-in, which became a popular issue as solidarity with her spread to many parliaments around the world, the Occupation decided to end the decision, but it resorted to its arrest of the months later and charged her with a “strange” indictment, including “joining the Legislative Council and visiting released prisoners or exhibiting books. Students …”
Also in this arrest, the occupation accused her of having “assumed a leadership position in a banned organization”, referring to the Popular Front, but the charge was dropped during the trial. Publicity
This charge was referred to her in a “secret file” when she was arrested again in 2017 and transferred to administrative detention, and it is also the same charge under which she was tried during her last detention at the end of 2019, which ends at the end of next September.
International Solidarity Campaign with Khaleda
On the sidelines of her arrests over the past seven years, her two daughters, Yafa and Suha, have launched a spontaneous international campaign of solidarity with her that has drawn international feminist figures and international parliamentarians, Jarrar being a member of the European Parliament representing the Palestine, and she is also among those working to bring the case of Palestinian prisoners to the International Criminal Court.
As a result of the campaign, numerous UN protest messages were sent to Israel in response to the conditions of Jarrar’s arrest and trial, but the occupation refused to respond. Indeed, as her husband said, he inflicted penalties on her, such as closing her account in the “cantina” (a monthly sum that the family transferred to the prisoner to purchase his necessary supplies), and she was also denied access to the books.
In his last three arrests, Jarrar, who holds a master’s degree in human rights studies, has established a secondary and university education system for Palestinian female detainees recognized by the Palestinian Ministry of Education and the Authority for Prisoners’ Affairs.
‘A way to regenerate’
Despite the high price she paid for her political activity, her husband says Khaleda’s candidacy for parliamentary elections came with the consensus of Popular Front organizations and organizational cadres, as his list indicates.
Jarrar led the Popular Front’s electoral roll after Popular Front secretary general Ahmed Saadat, who is also serving a 30-year prison sentence in Israeli jails. The list included prisoners Ahed Abu Gholma and Walid Hanatsheh, as well as prisoners standing for election on faction lists.
In a letter from Damoun Prison – in which around 40 Palestinian prisoners are held – and addressed to women on International Women’s Day, Jarrar wrote: “Our homeland is on the verge of multiple elections, and we have always demanded that they be held and fought to achieve them as a democratic tool to activate the Palestine Liberation Organization and remove the dust from it. “
She said the elections are a means of renewing legislative institutions as a tool to counter the outcome of the “Oslo Accord” (which the Popular Front opposes) and not a tool for it. She called on women to participate on a large scale, writing: “Palestinian women can exercise their rights and gain representation in legislative and national councils.”