Update on the Hearing of Palestinian Legislative Council Member Khalida Jarrar

13 July 2015

At the hearing today for Palestinian Legislative Council Member Khalida Jarrar, the defense team submitted preliminary arguments to cancel the charges. The defense argued concerning the legality of the occupation. Particularly, it argued that the occupation’s situation as continued and long-term deems it illegal. The defense also argued that Mrs. Khalida Jarrar is entitled to immunity as a Palestinian Legislative Council Member.

The defense also argued that Palestine should be considered a sovereign state after the United Nations General Assembly decision to recognize it as such, and the subsequent joining of various international treaties, including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Therefore, the defense argued, Palestine should be regarded as a state under occupation, and not territory under the jurisdiction of the Oslo accords, which were meant to end within five years. The defense further argued that even if the Oslo accords were applicable, Israeli arrests in Area A are only to take place if the accused is believed to be committing illegal activities in the time of the arrest, which was not the case for Mrs. Jarrar, who was arrested in an overnight raid on her home years following many of the alleged activities. The safeguarding of justice was also highly contested according to the defense, who argued that the protracted delays in bringing charges against Mrs. Jarrar and the vague dates given to her alleged activities severely affect the ability of the defendant in her defense.

Furthermore, the defense argued that the arrest of Mrs. Jarrar was a revengeful reprisal for her refusal to comply with a forced residency assignment in September 2014, as indicated by military governor’s statement. Additionally, the defense pointed to the fact that Mrs. Jarrar was initially held under administrative detention, with the prosecution claiming in a hearing that there was not enough evidence to hold her under charges.

The next hearing is set to take place on 4 August 2015, during which witnesses are expected to take the stand. It was noted that witnesses were not properly informed to attend today’s hearing and did not show up. The prosecution has two weeks to respond to the defense team’s preliminary arguments.