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IOF Continues Arbitrary Arrests of Palestinians

Ref: 120 / 2019

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) launched an arrest campaign across the West Bank at dawn on Thursday, 31 October 2019, targeting a number of political activists. Among the arrestees were Khaleda Jarar, former member of the dissolved Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) and writer/journalist Ali Jaradat. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns IOF arbitrary arrests against Palestinian civilians and calls upon the international community and international organizations to exert pressure on Israel for the immediate release of all detainees.

According to PCHR investigations, at approximately 03:00 on Thursday, 31 October 2019, IOF moved into Ramallah city and raided Khaleda Kan’an Mohammed Jarar’s house (56), political bureau member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). IOF ransacked through Jarar’s house, arrested her and transported her to the investigation centre at Ofer prison, south-western Ramallah. It should be mentioned that Jarar was released on 28 February 2019, after serving a total of 20 months in detention since July 2017. Meanwhile, IOF moved into al-Bireh, raided Ali Jaradat’s (64) house and arrested him. Jaradat had spent a total of 14 years in Israeli prisons on separate intervals the last of which was in 2016.

IOF also detained ‘Ammar Sobh, from Om Safa village west of Ramallah; and Warda Abdu, from Kafr Na’ma west of Ramallah. Furthermore, IOF arrested Fadi Abu Srour, Fadi Hmaidan, and Araz Akram al-Wa’ra from Ayda refugee camp, north of Bethlehem; and Ahmed Ali Sabri, from Kafr Qalil south of Nablus.

It should be noted that Jarar was released on 28 February 2019 after spending time under administrative detention, preceded by a 15-month sentence for affiliation with a banned organization. She was ordered to move her residence from Ramallah to Jericho for a month.

PCHR stresses that IOF is obliged to apply International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and international human rights law in the oPt. PCHR also confirms that arbitrary arrests against political activists are carried out systematically and are part of a clear Israeli policy to silence all voices that oppose the occupation.

PCHR reiterates its rejection of the administrative detention which usually follows such arrests and is subject to extensions that may amount to (6) months, without charge or trial in violation of the international human rights law particularly Article (9) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

PCHR denounces the Israeli systematic policy of arresting civilian activists who criticize Israel and calls upon the international community to intervene to stop Israeli practices against Palestinian civilians.

PCHR also calls upon the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open an immediate investigation into Israeli crimes in oPt to rein in Israeli practices and end impunity.