Thousands of Palestinians marched through Ramallah in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday to bury rights activist Suha Jarrar, 31, as Israel refused to release her mother, legislator Khalida Jarrar, from prison for the funeral.
Jarrar, 58, has been arrested and jailed many times and often held without charge in what Israelis call administrative detention.
“Activists, politicians, feminists and people from all walks of life have gathered in came here today to show solidarity with the Jarrar family,” Al Jazeera’s Nida Ibrahim reported from Ramallah.
“Khalida [Jarrar] has been in Israeli prison for almost the past two years. Israel has denied many requests to release [Jarrar] to bid her daughter goodbye, or let the body inside the prison so the mother can see Suha.”
Palestinians and human rights organisations had pressed in vain for her release for her daughter’s burial.
Suha Jarrar was found dead in her Ramallah home on Sunday, according to the advocacy group Al-Haq where she worked.
Al-Haq director Shawan Jabarin told the AFP news agency the cause of death was not known and the family was waiting for autopsy results.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch said Jarrar’s repeated arrests are part of Israel’s wider crackdown on non-violent political opposition to its half-century military occupation of Palestinian lands.
“Depriving a mom long unjustly detained from saying goodbye to her daughter reflects pure cruelty, which underlies Israeli government’s apartheid,” Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine director for Human Rights Watch, posted on Twitter.
Funeral for Palestinian rights defender Suha Jarrar underway in Ramallah, but without Suha's mom—MP Khalida Jarrar—who sits in Israeli jail. Depriving a mom long unjustly detained from saying goodbye to her daughter reflects pure cruelty, which underlies Israeli govt's apartheid https://t.co/PX04n56ABV pic.twitter.com/whEDhIu5SH
— Omar Shakir (@OmarSShakir) July 13, 2021
Jarrar, 58, was sentenced to two years in prison in March 2021 for belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which Israel and the United States label a “terrorist” organisation.
The Palestinian politician was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council, or parliament, as part of the PFLP.
Protest outside prison
On Monday, Israeli forces fired tear gas at Palestinian demonstrators who threw rocks and shook the yellow gates of Ofer military prison north of Jerusalem, where many Palestinians are held.
“This stand in front of the prison is to express our solidarity with Khalida Jarrar, who is going through the tragic death of a daughter, and also do demand immediate release of Khalida,” activist Abdullah Abu Rahma told Al Jazeera.
“This is us putting pressure on Israel and so our voices can reach the human rights and international institutions to stop this arbitrary arrest, and this injustice, which the Palestinian people are subjected to.”
Suha Jarrar specialised in environmental and gender issues, and briefed the United Nations on Palestinian access to water under Israeli occupation.
She studied in Canada and earned her Master’s in climate change science and policy in the United Kingdom.