[News] Israel jails Palestinian politicians ahead of PA elections

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Tue Mar 2 19:50:49 EST 2021


https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/tamara-nassar/israel-jails-palestinian-politicians-ahead-pa-elections 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/tamara-nassar/israel-jails-palestinian-politicians-ahead-pa-elections> 



  Israel jails Palestinian politicians ahead of PA elections

Tamara Nassar <https://electronicintifada.net/people/tamara-nassar> - 
2March 2021

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Man and woman at a demonstration

Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar upon her release from Israeli prison 
on 28 February 2019 in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.

APA images

With Palestinian legislative and presidential elections 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/2021-palestinian-elections> set to 
take place in coming months, Israel is intensifying its crackdown on 
Palestinian political and civil society figures in the occupied West Bank.

On Monday, Israel sentenced Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar to two 
years in prison, a $1,200 fine and a suspended sentence of one year.

Her crime? Being a member of the leftist political party the Popular 
Front for the Liberation of Palestine 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/popular-front-liberation-palestine>.

Israel considers virtually all Palestinian parties and resistance 
organizations to be “terrorist” groups, meaning that any politically 
active person can be targeted for arrest.

“The timing is not coincidental,” Palestinian lawyer Yafa Jarrar said of 
her mother’s sentence, referencing Palestinian elections.

Khalida Jarrar was arrested 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/tamara-nassar/israeli-guards-fire-tear-gas-prisoners-hospital-room> 
during a large military night raid on her home in October 2019, and has 
been held without charge or trial ever since.

Her detention came only eight months after her release from a previous 
20-month period 
<https://electronicintifada.net/content/khalida-jarrar-i-will-never-stop-speaking-out/26961> 
in administrative detention – without charge or trial.

She was arrested as part of what Palestinian prisoners rights group 
Addameer said was an Israeli campaign targeting political activists and 
students in the second half of 2019.

Addameer added that Israel falsely accused Jarrar of involvement in the 
killing 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/tamara-nassar/50-palestinians-shot-israeli-teen-killed-explosion> 
of Israeli teen Rina Shnerb 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/rina-shnerb>.

Shnerb was killed by what the Israeli military said was an improvised 
explosive device near the Dolev settlement in the West Bank in August 2019.

But the Israeli military prosecutor on Monday changed the indictment 
against Jarrar to only include her political activities, and she was not 
charged with any involvement in Shnerb’s killing.

Jarrar has previously spent years 
<https://electronicintifada.net/content/khalida-jarrar-i-will-never-stop-speaking-out/26961> 
in Israeli prisons and has been banned from traveling because of her 
membership in the PFLP.


    First vote in 15 years

Palestinian legislative and presidential elections 
<https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/palestine-elections-hamas-and-fatah-unity> 
slated for May and July would be the first since the legislative 
elections of 2006, when Hamas won by a landslide.

It beat out Fatah, the ruling faction of the Palestinian Authority led 
by Mahmoud Abbas.

However, Abbas’ party, backed by Israel, the United States, the European 
Union and some Arab states, did not allow Hamas to govern the 
Palestinian Authority.

Instead, Fatah-aligned militias in Gaza, working with the United States 
<https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2008/04/gaza200804>, tried to remove 
Hamas from power by force.

But in June 2007, Hamas moved against them preemptively, expelling 
US-backed Fatah forces from Gaza.

The attempted putsch 
<https://electronicintifada.net/content/palestine-papers-and-gaza-coup/9200> 
against Hamas after it won the elections resulted in the current 
division, where Abbas’ Western-backed PA kept control in the West Bank, 
while the internationally isolated Hamas has ruled the interior of the 
besieged Gaza Strip.

There is no guarantee that elections will take place, as numerous votes 
have been scheduled in recent years and then postponed indefinitely.

Elections are largely seen as a way to reinforce the legitimacy 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/omar-karmi/elections-or-none-pa-already-obsolete> 
of the main Palestinian political parties 15 years after the last vote 
and in light of the new US administration.

As The Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah recently wrote 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/whats-point-palestinian-elections>, 
it is unclear why Hamas would trust the same Abbas and Fatah party that 
led the coup against Hamas in 2007 to respect results now.

“Any reconciliation or ‘national unity’ can only be based on Abbas’ 
Fatah abandoning collaboration with Israel, or Hamas abandoning 
resistance,” Abunimah wrote.


    Arresting members of Hamas

Israel has regularly imprisoned 
<http://www.addameer.org/the_prisoners/plc_member> Palestinian elected 
officials just because it doesn’t like their views, and is now 
accelerating such arrests ahead of the scheduled elections.

This is done as “part of an ongoing Israeli effort to suppress 
Palestinians’ exercise of political sovereignty and self-determination,” 
Addameer stated <http://addameer.org/news/press-release/en/khalidajarra>.

Israel has been conducting sweeping arrests 
<https://www.aljazeera.net/news/politics/2021/2/24/%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D9%85%D8%AA%D9%83%D8%B1%D8%B1%D8%A9-%D9%84%D8%B9%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%B5%D8%B1-%D8%AD%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%B3-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B6%D9%81%D8%A9> 
of Hamas figures in the occupied West Bank in recent weeks.

In February, Israeli forces arrested Hamas figures Adnan Asfour and 
Yasser Mansour, and ordered 
<https://twitter.com/paltimes2015/status/1364196043051655170> Asfour 
held in administrative detention for six months.

Mansour is also a member <http://www.plc.ps/ar/home/page_deputy/130> of 
the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Hamas said <https://hamas.ps/ar/post/12942/> the arrest of its 
politicians in the West Bank “confirms the occupation’s targeting of the 
elections process.”

Naif al-Rajoub, a member <https://www.plc.ps/ar/home/page_deputy/140> of 
the Palestinian Legislative Council, said Israeli occupation forces 
raided his home in February and warned him against participating in the 
elections.

Al-Rajoub told <https://shehabnews.com/post/78578/> /Shehab News Agency/ 
that Israeli forces warned him not to run in elections or participate in 
campaigns, and only permitted him to go to the polls.

Other Hamas figures arrested by Israel in recent weeks include Khalid 
al-Haj 
<https://www.alwatanvoice.com/arabic/news/2021/02/09/1397636.html>, Abd 
al-Baset al-Haj <https://www.almayadeen.net/news/politics/1458506/>, 
Omar al-Hanbali <https://www.palinfo.net/288239> and Fazee al-Sawafta 
<https://hadfnews.ps/post/79021/>.

An Israeli military court last week extended the administrative 
detention of Khitam Saafin, the head of the Union of Palestinian Women 
Committees, by four months.

Saafin was arrested 
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/tamara-nassar/100-days-hunger-freedom> 
with other Palestinian political activists in November, and has been 
held without charge or trial ever since.


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