The organizers of Palestine Writes, the first North American Festival of Palestinian literature, condemn Israel’s kidnapping and detention of Khalida Jarrar, a leading Palestinian feminist and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. According to reports in Samidoun and Al Jazeera, more than 70 Israeli soldiers and 12 tanks and armored vehicles encircled and savagely attacked in a predawn raid on her family home while she was asleep on October 30th.
Eight months ago, Jarrar was released from Israeli prison after 20 months of “administrative detention,” Israel’s arbitrary system for locking up Palestinians indefinitely. It is reported that there are 425 Palestinians detained today without charge or trial, many of whom spend years a time jailed under indefinitely renewed administrative detention orders.
Jarrar was also abducted by the Israeli occupation forces in 2015 and released in 2016, before she was re-arrested in 2017. In prison, she has organized other Palestinian women prisoners to protest detention conditions and use of surveillance cameras. She also organized classes on human rights.
Jarrar has been a vocal leader of public campaigns to hold Israeli officials accountable for war crimes in the International Criminal Court. She is a member of the Palestinian commission charged with bringing complaints and files before the court.
More than 275 human rights organizations signed a petition calling for Jarrar’s release after her last administrative detention.
Khalida Jarrar is also an avid reader, and while imprisoned, she organized book readings and created a colloquium for other prisoners to educate and help the younger ones complete their high school studies. She was scheduled to speak about the intersections of literature, liberation and political prisoners at the first Palestine Writes Literature Festival in New York City, March 27-29th, 2020.
Khalida’s detainment comes at a time of multiple high profile detentions, including that of Hiba Al- Labadi and Samir Arbeed. Al Labadi, 32, was detained without charge or trial and has been on a hunger strike for over a month, her health gravely deteriorated. Arbeed tortured so severely that he was hospitalized within a few days of his arrest, where he remains on a respirator since September.The Palestine Writes organizing committee calls on people everywhere to protest Jarrar’s most recent arrest by occupying Israeli forces,as well as that of Hiba and Samir and to call for the release of the over 5,5000 Palestinian political prisoners.
We encourage people to make a contribution to Samidoun, the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network which works tirelessly in support of Palestinians wrongly incarcerated and detained by Israel.