[Pnews] Detained Palestinian Legislative Council Members

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jul 25 12:34:02 EDT 2017


  Detained Palestinian Legislative Council Members

25 July 2017

According to international law and Israeli courts no one can be detained 
for their political opinions. This is affirmed in the International 
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, article 2, which states that 
states parties are to ensure  “to all individuals within its territory 
and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present 
Covenant, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, 
language, religion, political or other opinions, national or social 
origin, property, birth or other status” (United Nations General 
Assembly Resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966). However, 
Palestinian political leaders are routinely arrested and detained as 
part of an ongoing Israeli effort to suppress Palestinian political 
processes – and, as a necessary result, political sovereignty and 

In recent years, this process has focused particularly on members of the 
Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). In the lead-up to the 2006 PLC 
elections, Israeli forces launched their campaign of arrest against PLC 
members, detaining 450 members of the “Change and Reform” party mostly 
involved in the elections, either through active campaigning or who were 
taking part in the municipal elections in various West Bank cities. The 
majority of those detained were kept in administrative detention for 
different periods. Some were released on the day of the election or a 
couple of days before or after it.

Following the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit on 25 June 2006 by 
Hamas at the Kerem Shalom Crossing on the Gaza Strip border, Israeli 
forces seized dozens of leaders and activists associated with Hamas in 
coordinated raids across the West Bank, including PLC members. The 
latter were either placed in administrative detention or charged with 
offenses based on their membership of the “Change and Reform List”, 
which the Israeli authorities allege is affiliated with Hamas, an 
illegal party according to Israeli military legislation. These 
detentions occurred despite the fact that Israel itself allowed the 
elections to be held and did not oppose the Change and Reform List’s 
participation in these elections. In fact, it was only in February 2007 
that the Israeli authorities declared the Change and Reform List to be 
illegal, almost a year after most of the initial arrests.

In 2009, nearly a third of all Palestinian legislators were held in 
Israeli detention, preventing the PLC from reconvening since mid-2007. 
As of 1 April 2014, 11 PLC members continue to be held by Israel, the 
majority of them (9) under administrative detention.

Two of the most well-known Palestinian political prisoners are PLC 
members Marwan Barghouti and Ahmad Sa’adat. While initial reports hinted 
that the two would be released as part of the prisoner exchange deal in 
October 2011, they were not included.

Barghouti, a prominent Fatah leader, was arrested by Israeli forces on 
15 April 2002. Throughout his trial process, Barghouti maintained that 
the Israeli court was illegitimate and illegal, and therefore refused to 
present a defense. He was sentenced to five life sentences with an 
additional 40 years.

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Secretary General 
Ahmad Sa’adat was arrested by Israel on 14 March 2006 when he was taken 
from the Palestinian Authority’s Jericho prison in a raid. Two years 
later, he was sentenced to 30 years. In March 2008, Sa’adat received an 
order to be placed in isolation for six months, which was subsequently 
renewed every six months for over three years. He was removed from 
isolation upon the conclusion of Palestinian prisoners’ mass hunger 
strike in May 2012.

Recently, on 2 July 2017, Khalida Jarrar, who has been a PLC member 
since 2006, was arrested by Israeli occupation forces and is currently 
detained in HaSharon prison. She was issued a 6-month administrative 
order on 12 July 2017.

The continued targeting of Palestinian legislative council members must 
be viewed in a broader context of systematic attempts by the Israeli 
occupation to suppress Palestinian political processes, which attempts 
to hold Israel accountable for the crimes committed against 
Palestinians. Evidence of this repression can be seen in the increasing 
number of Palestinian legislative council members currently imprisoned 
by the Israeli occupation.

*Currently, there are 12 PLC members in Israeli prisons, nine of whom 
are held under administrative detention. *

PLC members currently detained by Israel:







Date of arrest







Marwan Al-Bargouthi








5 life-sentences



Ahmad Sadaat








30 years



Hasan Yusuf








Administrative detention



Mohammad Al-Natsheh








Administrative detention



Khalida Jarrar








Administrative detention



Ahmad Attoun








Administrative detention



Azzam Salhab








Administrative detention



Mohammad Bader








Administrative detention



Mohammad Al Tal








Administrative detention



Ibrahim Dahbour








Administrative detention



Ahmad Mubarak








Administrative detention



Omar Abdul Razeq









*/Recent resolutions taken by international bodies in regards to 
detained PLC members:/*

*European Parliament resolution of 5 July 2012 on EU policy on the West 
Bank and East Jerusalem: *“Calls for an end to the administrative 
detention without formal charge or trial of Palestinians by Israeli 
authorities, for access to a fair trial for all Palestinian detainees, 
and for the release of Palestinian political prisoners, with special 
regard for members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, including 
Marwan Barghouti, and administrative detainees; calls also for the 
immediate release of Nabil Al-Raee, the artistic director of the Freedom 
Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp, arrested on and detained since 6 June 
2012; welcomes the agreement reached on 14 May 2012 that allowed for the 
end of the hunger strike of the Palestinian prisoners and calls for its 
full and immediate implementation.”

*International Parliamentary Union (IPU) resolution adopted unanimously 
by the IPU Governing Council at its 190^th  session on 5 April 2012*:

  “/Reaffirms/ its position in this regard that Mr. Barghouti’s arrest 
and transfer to Israeli territory were in violation of international 
law;/also reaffirms/, in the light of the compelling legal arguments put 
forward in Mr. Foreman’s report, on which the Israeli authorities have 
not provided observations, that Mr. Barghouti’s trial failed to meet the 
fair-trial standards which Israel, as a party to the International 
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, is bound to respect, and that as 
a result Mr. Barghouti’s guilt has not been established; /Reiterates, 
/therefore, its call for his immediate release.”;

  “/Reaffirms /its position that Mr. Sa’adat’s abduction and transfer to 
Israel were related not to the murder charge but rather to his political 
activities as PFLP General Secretary, and that the proceedings brought 
against him were, therefore, based on political considerations; 
/reiterates,/ therefore, its call for his immediate release.”;

/“Considers /in this regard that the continued practice of 
administrative detention is bound to impede the proper functioning of 
the Palestinian Legislative Council, as its members can be arrested at 
any time and placed in administrative detention for as long as the 
Israeli military authorities wish”;

/“Expresses serious misgivings /in this respect about the ability of 
those held in administrative detention to benefit from due process, 
despite the rules pertaining thereto, Supreme Court case-law and any 
safeguards they contain to prevent the abusive use of administrative 

/“Notes /that any decision regarding administrative detention must be 
based on a "specific and concrete threat", documented through "current 
and reliable information", preceded by a process to "exhaust the 
possibility of utilizing alternative criminal procedures before 
resorting to administrative detention", and include "the right to 
appeal"; /invites /the Israeli authorities to provide further 
information on these aspects, in particular why it is no longer possible 
to have recourse to normal criminal procedures and what steps they have 
taken to ensure an effective and meaningful appeal process”.

*Local EU statement on recent arrests of Palestinian lawmakers on 28 
January 2012: *“The EU Missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah are concerned 
about the arrest at the ICRC office in East-Jerusalem of Palestinian 
Legislative Council member Mohammed Totah and former Minister for 
Jerusalem Affairs Khaled Abu Arafeh. The EU missions in Jerusalem and 
Ramallah are also concerned about the recent arrests of PLC Speaker Aziz 
Dweik and PLC members Khaled Tafesh and Abduljabbar Foqaha. The EU has 
followed the case of Palestinians who have found shelter against 
deportation orders since July 2010 in the office of the International 
Committee of the Red Cross in East Jerusalem. The EU raised this matter 
publicly at the Human Rights Council in March 2011.

*European Parliament resolution of 14 March 2013 on the case of Arafat 
Jaradat and the situation of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails: 
*“Calls once again for the immediate release of all imprisoned members 
of the PLC, including Marwan Barghouti.”

On 25 March 2015, during its twenty-eighth session, the Human Rights 
Council expressed “deep concern that thousands of Palestinians, 
including many children and women and elected members of the Palestinian 
Legislative Council, continue to be detained and held in Israeli prisons 
or detention centres under harsh conditions, including, inter alia, 
unhygienic conditions, solitary confinement, lack of proper medical 
care, denial of family visits and denial of due process, that impair 
their well-being, and expressing deep concern also about the 
ill-treatment and harassment of any Palestinian prisoner and all reports 
of torture” (A/HRC/28/L.34).

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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