An Israeli military court has extended the detention of prominent Palestinian activist and politician Khalida Jarrar by 48 hours and told her she faces detention without charge in an Israeli prison.
Jarrar – a member of the dormant Palestinian Legislative Council and a leading figure in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a leftist party banned by Israel – appeared in an Israeli military court on Monday.
She was arrested at her home in an overnight raid last week as the Israeli army claims she was involved in “terrorist” activity.
During a 45-minute hearing on Monday the judge decided that Jarrar’s detention should be extended by 48 hours – during which time the military area commander would look into secret files and decide whether to seek administrative detention.
Administrative detainees are arrested on “secret evidence”, unaware of the accusations against them, and are not allowed to defend themselves in court. Their detention periods can be indefinitely renewed.
Within the next 10 days, the judge will have to decide whether to free her, or sentence her to detention without charge, over unspecified security concerns.
Last year Jarrar was released after a 15-month prison term – convicted of incitement and breaking travel restrictions.
Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett, reporting from the Ofer military prison in the occupied West Bank, said that Jarrar remains subject to a suspended sentence.
“But rather than charge her with a crime which could see that enforced … The prosecution is instead exploring the option of keeping her in prison without any charge”.
Wider policy of targeting Palestinian lawmakers
Jarrar’s lawyer says it is part of a wider policy of targeting Palestinian politicians – 11 of whom are currently in detention.
“The fact that these people were elected and are acting and promoting the basic rights of the Palestinian people – this is the main reason for their arrests,” human rights lawyer Sahar Francis told Al Jazeera.
“And it’s in order to affect the whole political life of the Palestinian people.”
At one point after the 2006 elections, 50 of the Legislative Council’s 132 members were in detention at the same time.
The Israeli military told Al Jazeera in a statement that, since her release, Jarrar had “returned to her activity in the PFLP terror organisation … She was apprehended for her involvement in the PFLP and not because of her membership in the legislative council”.
Jarrar’s daughter Suha told Al Jazeera she was concerned that her mother could be held for a long time without charge.
“I am worried but I’m hoping for the best because they have nothing [no evidence] against her,” she said.