Member of Khalida Jarrar’s Palestinian Legislative Committee calls her detention a “direct attack” on democracy.
The Israeli army has placed a female Palestinian legislator under detention for six months without trial, a lawyer for the politician said.
Khalida Jarrar, a senior political leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a left-wing Palestinian faction, is being held for alleged activities in a hostile organisation, lawyer Mahmoud Hassan
said on Monday.
The PFLP is designated a terrorist organisation by Israel and the United States.
Jarrar, 52, is being held under Israeli administrative detention, which allows Israel to hold detainees for up to six months at a time without charges, the lawyer told the Associated Press news agency.
Israel says administrative detentions prevent attacks by armed groups, but human rights activists say Jarrar was being punished for her activism.
Randa Wahbe, an advocacy officer at Addameer, which supports Palestinian prisoners, told Al Jazeera the detained legislator’s arrest was linked to her membership of the Palestinian Legislative Council’s committee on prisoners.
“There’s definitely a relationship between her work and the occupation force’s decision to arrest her,” Wahbe said.
“Last year Khalida was given a deportation order to Jericho, which she protested and was revoked by the military court…this is retribution for fighting the deportation order.”
Jarrar formerly served as the executive director of Addameer.
Wahbe said Jarrar suffered from frequent bouts of Deep Vein Thrombosis and required regular courses of treatment, which would be unavailable to her in an Israeli prison.
Although there is a confirmation hearing for the administrative detention order on Wednesday, Wahbe is certain their attempts to appeal the decision will not be successful.
“It is just a formality, I can’t think of a case where it has been cancelled,” she said.
Israel bases its decision to hold Palestinians under administrative detention orders on secret evidence, not available to defence teams.
There are currently 455 people imprisoned by Israel under such orders including 15 other Palestinian legislators, according to Addameer.
Jarrar is the only female currently held under Israel’s administrative detention policy.