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          gmail-reader-show-element"> <font size="1"><a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/tamara-nassar/israel-jails-palestinian-politicians-ahead-pa-elections"
              moz-do-not-send="true">https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/tamara-nassar/israel-jails-palestinian-politicians-ahead-pa-elections</a></font>
          <h1 class="gmail-reader-title">Israel jails Palestinian
            politicians ahead of PA elections</h1>
          <p class="gmail-node__submitted">
            <span class="gmail-field gmail-field-author"><a
                href="https://electronicintifada.net/people/tamara-nassar"
                moz-do-not-send="true">Tamara Nassar</a></span> <span
              class="gmail-field gmail-field-blog">- 2</span><span
              class="gmail-field gmail-field-publication-date"><span
                class="gmail-date-display-single"> March 2021</span></span>
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                <img
src="https://electronicintifada.net/sites/default/files/styles/original_800w/public/2021-03/210301_-_khalida-jarrar2.jpg?itok=Gmo5hlfU&timestamp=1614622313"
                  alt="Man and woman at a demonstration" title=""
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                  width="405" height="270">
                <p>Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar upon her release
                  from Israeli prison on 28 February 2019 in the
                  occupied West Bank city of Nablus.</p>
                <small>
                  <span>APA images</span></small>
                <p>With Palestinian <a
                    href="https://electronicintifada.net/tags/2021-palestinian-elections"
                    moz-do-not-send="true">legislative and presidential
                    elections</a> set to take place in coming months,
                  Israel is intensifying its crackdown on Palestinian
                  political and civil society figures in the occupied
                  West Bank.</p>
                <p>On Monday, Israel sentenced Palestinian lawmaker
                  Khalida Jarrar to two years in prison, a $1,200 fine
                  and a suspended sentence of one year.</p>
                <p>Her crime? Being a member of the leftist political
                  party the <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/tags/popular-front-liberation-palestine"
                    moz-do-not-send="true">Popular Front for the
                    Liberation of Palestine</a>.</p>
                <p>Israel considers virtually all Palestinian parties
                  and resistance organizations to be “terrorist” groups,
                  meaning that any politically active person can be
                  targeted for arrest.</p>
                <p>“The timing is not coincidental,” Palestinian lawyer
                  Yafa Jarrar said of her mother’s sentence, referencing
                  Palestinian elections.
                </p>
                Khalida Jarrar was <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/tamara-nassar/israeli-guards-fire-tear-gas-prisoners-hospital-room"
                  moz-do-not-send="true">arrested</a> during a large
                military night raid on her home in October 2019, and has
                been held without charge or trial ever since.
                <p>Her detention came only eight months after her
                  release from a previous <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/content/khalida-jarrar-i-will-never-stop-speaking-out/26961"
                    moz-do-not-send="true">20-month period</a> in
                  administrative detention – without charge or trial.
                </p>
                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.
                <p>Addameer added that Israel falsely accused Jarrar of
                  involvement in the <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/tamara-nassar/50-palestinians-shot-israeli-teen-killed-explosion"
                    moz-do-not-send="true">killing</a> of Israeli teen <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/tags/rina-shnerb"
                    moz-do-not-send="true">Rina Shnerb</a>.</p>
                <p>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.</p>
                <p>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.</p>
                <p>Jarrar has previously <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/content/khalida-jarrar-i-will-never-stop-speaking-out/26961"
                    moz-do-not-send="true">spent years</a> in Israeli
                  prisons and has been banned from traveling because of
                  her membership in the PFLP.</p>
                <h2>First vote in 15 years</h2>
                <p>Palestinian <a
href="https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/palestine-elections-hamas-and-fatah-unity"
                    moz-do-not-send="true">legislative and presidential
                    elections</a> slated for May and July would be the
                  first since the legislative elections of 2006, when
                  Hamas won by a landslide.</p>
                <p>It beat out Fatah, the ruling faction of the
                  Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas.</p>
                <p>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.</p>
                <p>Instead, Fatah-aligned militias in Gaza, <a
                    href="https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2008/04/gaza200804"
                    moz-do-not-send="true">working with the United
                    States</a>, tried to remove Hamas from power by
                  force.</p>
                <p>But in June 2007, Hamas moved against them
                  preemptively, expelling US-backed Fatah forces from
                  Gaza.</p>
                <p>The <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/content/palestine-papers-and-gaza-coup/9200"
                    moz-do-not-send="true">attempted putsch</a> 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.</p>
                <p>There is no guarantee that elections will take place,
                  as numerous votes have been scheduled in recent years
                  and then postponed indefinitely.</p>
                <p>Elections are largely seen as a way to <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/omar-karmi/elections-or-none-pa-already-obsolete"
                    moz-do-not-send="true">reinforce the legitimacy</a>
                  of the main Palestinian political parties 15 years
                  after the last vote and in light of the new US
                  administration.</p>
                <p>As The Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah recently <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/whats-point-palestinian-elections"
                    moz-do-not-send="true">wrote</a>, 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.</p>
                <p>“Any reconciliation or ‘national unity’ can only be
                  based on Abbas’ Fatah abandoning collaboration with
                  Israel, or Hamas abandoning resistance,” Abunimah
                  wrote.</p>
                <h2>Arresting members of Hamas</h2>
                <p>Israel has <a
                    href="http://www.addameer.org/the_prisoners/plc_member"
                    moz-do-not-send="true">regularly imprisoned</a>
                  Palestinian elected officials just because it doesn’t
                  like their views, and is now accelerating such arrests
                  ahead of the scheduled elections.</p>
                <p>This is done as “part of an ongoing Israeli effort to
                  suppress Palestinians’ exercise of political
                  sovereignty and self-determination,” Addameer <a
                    href="http://addameer.org/news/press-release/en/khalidajarra"
                    moz-do-not-send="true">stated</a>.</p>
                <p>Israel has been conducting sweeping <a
href="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"
                    moz-do-not-send="true">arrests</a> of Hamas figures
                  in the occupied West Bank in recent weeks.</p>
                <p>In February, Israeli forces arrested Hamas figures
                  Adnan Asfour and Yasser Mansour, and <a
                    href="https://twitter.com/paltimes2015/status/1364196043051655170"
                    moz-do-not-send="true">ordered</a> Asfour held in
                  administrative detention for six months.
                </p>
                Mansour is also a <a
                  href="http://www.plc.ps/ar/home/page_deputy/130"
                  moz-do-not-send="true">member</a> of the Palestinian
                Legislative Council.
                <p>Hamas <a href="https://hamas.ps/ar/post/12942/"
                    moz-do-not-send="true">said</a> the arrest of its
                  politicians in the West Bank “confirms the
                  occupation’s targeting of the elections process.”</p>
                <p>Naif al-Rajoub, a <a
                    href="https://www.plc.ps/ar/home/page_deputy/140"
                    moz-do-not-send="true">member</a> of the Palestinian
                  Legislative Council, said Israeli occupation forces
                  raided his home in February and warned him against
                  participating in the elections.</p>
                <p>Al-Rajoub <a
                    href="https://shehabnews.com/post/78578/"
                    moz-do-not-send="true">told</a> <em>Shehab News
                    Agency</em> that Israeli forces warned him not to
                  run in elections or participate in campaigns, and only
                  permitted him to go to the polls.</p>
                <p>Other Hamas figures arrested by Israel in recent
                  weeks include <a
                    href="https://www.alwatanvoice.com/arabic/news/2021/02/09/1397636.html"
                    moz-do-not-send="true">Khalid al-Haj</a>, <a
                    href="https://www.almayadeen.net/news/politics/1458506/"
                    moz-do-not-send="true">Abd al-Baset al-Haj</a>, <a
                    href="https://www.palinfo.net/288239"
                    moz-do-not-send="true">Omar al-Hanbali</a> and <a
                    href="https://hadfnews.ps/post/79021/"
                    moz-do-not-send="true">Fazee al-Sawafta</a>.</p>
                <p>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.</p>
                <p>Saafin was <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/tamara-nassar/100-days-hunger-freedom"
                    moz-do-not-send="true">arrested</a> with other
                  Palestinian political activists in November, and has
                  been held without charge or trial ever since.</p>
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