Palestinian Israeli conflict

Israel releases Palestinian MP Khalida Jarrar after two years in prison

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Israeli authorities on Sunday released from jail Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar after two years in detention.

Jarrar, 58, was sentenced to two years in March 2021 for belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which Israel and the United States label a “terrorist” organization.

But the Israeli military did not find evidence Jarrar had taken part in violent acts.

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She had been detained without charge since 2019 when she was arrested along with several other Palestinian figures following an attack that killed an Israeli teenager. Israel blamed the attack on the PFLP.

Jarrar was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council, or parliament, as part of the PFLP.

On Sunday the group congratulated Jarrar on her release, describing her as a “comrade in arms” known for her “patience and tenacity.”

After leaving jail Jarrar visited the tomb of her daughter Suha who died in July, an AFP correspondent said.

At the time, Israeli prison authorities refused to allow Jarrar to attend the funeral.

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

Israeli administrative detention orders allow suspects to be held without charge for renewable six-month periods.

Israel says the procedure is intended to allow authorities to hold suspects while continuing to gather evidence, with the aim of preventing crimes in the meantime.

But the system has been criticized by Palestinians, human rights groups and members of the international community, who say Israel abuses it.

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