IDF rearrests senior PFLP official Khailda Jarrar

The PFLP said the arrests were a “failed and desperate Zionist attempt to break the will of the group, force it to surrender and discourage it from continuing the path of resistance.”

Palestinian parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar (photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The PLO’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said on Thursday that the arrest of its senior official Khalida Jarrar by the IDF aims to prevent the group from pursuing its “policy of resistance” against Israel.
Jarrar, 56, was arrested early Thursday from her home in Ramallah by the IDF. In the past few years, she was arrested several times by the IDF on charges of “incitement and involvement in terror.”
Jarrar, who is also known as Um Yafa, was sentenced in 2015 to 15 months in prison, but was released in June 2016 after an international campaign on her behalf.
She was rearrested in 2017 and placed under administrative detention for six months, which was renewed a number of times until February 2019.
Jarrar’s daughter, Yafa, said her mother was arrested from when “over 70 soldiers raided our home” around 3 a.m.
Jarrar was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council in January 2006 as one of the PFLP’s three members. Her arrest is in the context of an Israeli security crackdown on PFLP officials and members after last August’s terrorist attack in which 17-year-old Israeli teenager Rina Schnerb was killed.
The terrorists involved in constructing and detonating the explosive device that killed Shnerb near the settlement of Dolev are members of the PFLP.
In addition to Jarrar, the IDF on Thursday also arrested Ali Jaradat, a former security prisoner and member of the PFLP from El-Bireh, the twin city of Ramallah.
The PFLP said in a statement on Thursday that the arrests were part of a “failed and desperate Zionist attempt to break the will of the group, force it to surrender and discourage it from continuing the path of resistance.”
The group said it holds Israel “fully responsible” for the life of its activists and leaders, adding that the arrests were designed to “remove Palestinian national leaders from the Palestinian scene.” The group also called on the Palestinian Authority and its security forces to halt all forms of security coordination with Israel.
PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi condemned the arrest of Jarrar, whom she described as a “prominent human rights defender.” In a statement, Ahrawi said: “We call on the international community to assume its responsibilities and put an end to Israel’s illegal policy of mass arbitrary detention of Palestinian citizens. Equally, we call for unequivocal international condemnation of Israel’s illegal use of administrative detention.”
Jarrar is considered the top representative of the PFLP in the West Bank. Founded in 1967 by George Habash, the Palestinian Marxist-Leninist terror organization is the second-largest group in the PLO after the ruling Fatah faction, headed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
The Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, Samidoun, described Jarrar as a “longtime advocate for the freedom of Palestinian prisoners and has served as the former vice-chair and executive director of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association.” Samidoun also pointed out that Jarrar is a an “outspoken leader in the fight to hold Israeli officials accountable for war crimes in the International Criminal Court.”
In 2006, PFLP Secretary-General Ahmad Sa’adat was sentenced to 30 years in prison for his role in the 2001 assassination of former tourism minister Rehavam Ze’evi. The PFLP took credit for the assassination and said it was in revenge for the killing of its secretary-general Abu Ali Mustafa in August of that year.