Thousands mourn daughter of jailed Palestinian activist Khalida Jarrar

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Thousands of Palestinians marched through Ramallah Tuesday to bury rights activist Suha Jarrar, 31, as Israel refused to release her mother, lawmaker Khalida Jarrar, from prison for the funeral.

“We are all your daughters, oh Jarrar,” the crowd chanted.

Khalida Jarrar, 58, has been arrested and jailed many times and often held without charge in what Israelis call administrative detention.

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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 AFP the cause of death was not known and the family was waiting for autopsy results.

A statement from the group said Suha Jarrar would remain “a role model in her strength, patience, generosity and defiance in the face of extreme injustice and adversity of Israel’s prolonged military occupation and apartheid.”

Khalida Jarrar was sentenced to two years in prison in March 2021 for belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which Israel and the United States label a “terrorist” organisation.

She had been detained without charge since 2019, and her sentence included time served.

Jarrar was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council, or parliament, as part of the PFLP, but the Israeli military did not find evidence she had taken part in violent acts.

On Monday, Palestinian demonstrators threw rocks and shook the yellow gates of Ofer military prison north of Jerusalem, where many Palestinians are held. Israeli forces responded with tear gas.

Activist Abdullah Abu Rahma told AFP he attended the protest “to express our solidarity with Khalida Jarrar,” put pressure on Israel and “for our voices to reach the human rights and international institutions to stop this arbitrary arrest.”

At Al-Haq, Suha Jarrar specialised in environmental and gender issues, including briefing 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 Britain.

Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Director for Human Rights Watch, blasted Israel’s decision not to release Khalida Jarrar for her daughter’s burial.

“Having repeatedly detained Khalida in violation of her rights, Israeli authorities should at minimum allow her to say goodbye to her daughter,” Shakir wrote in a statement.

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