Palestinian women in Madrid lead protest to free Jarrar and Saafin

Photo: Alkarama Palestinian Women’s Movement

Protesters gathered in Madrid, Spain on Friday evening, 7 July, to demand freedom for Palestinian leaders Khalida Jarrar and Khitam Saafin, imprisoned by Israeli occupation forces since Sunday, 2 July.

The protest was organized by Alkarama Palestinian Women’s Movement, an organization of Palestinian women in diaspora in Spain. It took place outside the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, urging action on the cases of Khalida, Khitam and their fellow Palestinian prisoners.

Khalida Jarrar, a prominent Palestinian parliamentarian, national leader and a feminist and leftist struggler for Palestinian political prisoners, and Khitam Saafin, president of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, were seized from their homes on 2 July by Israeli occupation forces in pre-dawn raids.

Photo: Alkarama Palestinian Women’s Movement

Approximately 9 other Palestinians were also hit by similar raids on the same evening. Since that time, their detention has been extended as international and Palestinian outrage has grown at the ongoing imprisonment of these two Palestinian women leaders in the struggle for national and social liberation. On Sunday, 9 July, Saafin was ordered to three months in administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial.

Photo: Alkarama Palestinian Women’s Movement

Speakers at the event included several Alkarama members, including Jaldia Abubakra, who also organizes with Unadikum, BDS Madrid and the Women’s Boat to Gaza, and Majed Dibsi, lawyer and journalist, and member of the leadership committee of the Union of Palestinian Communities and Organizations in Europe.

Photo: Alkarama Palestinian Women’s Movement

The protesters also read a statement from Alkarama demanding the release of Jarrar and Saafin. English translation follows below (Spanish at Alkarama website):

Urgent Statement from Alkarama, Palestinian Women’s Movement in Diaspora: Demand Freedom for Khalida Jarrar and Khitam Saafin, Palestinian leaders seized by Israeli occupation forces.

Freedom Now!

From the Alkarama Palestinian Women’s Movement, a Palestinian, feminist, secular and anticolonialist organization whose main objective is to generate a new space for raising the voice of Palestinian women in the diaspora, we call upon all people and groups in solidarity with the Palestinian cause to act on the 2 July abduction by the Israeli occupation forces of our comrades Khalida Jarrar and Khitam Saafin as well as nine other people seized that same night.

Photo: Alkarama Palestinian Women’s Movement

[/caption]Israeli occupation forces arrested the prominent Palestinian left-wing parliamentarian and advocate for Palestinian prisoners, Khalida Jarrar, along with Khitam Saafin, president of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees and at least nine other people, including Ihab Massoud, released for less than six months from Israeli prisons, and four other community leaders in a raid on al-Aroub refugee camp on Sunday, 2 July. We join the appeal of Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network calling for urgent international action to demand their immediate release.

Jarrar was last arrested on 2 April 2015; she was ordered to administrative detention, imprisoned without charge or trial. International protest over her case led to the cancellation of her administrative detention. However, her case was transferred to the equally illegitimate military tribunals of the Israeli occupation.

Photo: Alkarama Palestinian Women’s Movement

Khitam Saafin, General Coordinator of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, has participated in various global events, including the World Social Forum, linking women’s struggles at the international level with the struggle of Palestinian women for national and social liberation . The UPWC has organized and hosted numerous international delegations that have created solidarity with Palestinian women and the Palestinian people.

At least seven other Palestinians were seized by Israeli occupation forces in pre-dawn raids on 2 July. Among them was Ihab Massoud, who was released on 12 February after 16 years in Israeli prisons. A leader in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, he participated in multiple hunger strikes inside Israeli prisons.

Photo: Alkarama Palestinian Women’s Movement

Alkarama Palestinian Women’s Movement in Diaspora joins with Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network to urge international mobilization and action to demand the immediate release of Khalida Jarrar and Khitam Saafin, prominent progressive and feminist Palestinian leaders and committed fighters for the freedom and liberation of their people. The detentions of Jarrar and Saafin clearly come as an attempt by the Israeli occupation to attack Palestinian popular movements and suppress them through fear, intimidation, and arrests carried out by a massive armed occupation force.

We call on all friends of Palestine and the Palestinian people to join us in reactivating the Solidarity Campaign with Khalida Jarrar as well as the campaign in solidarity with Khitam Saafin. These detentions represent an attack on the political activity and popular organization of the Palestinian people. We must combat this attack with intensified solidarity to demand the freedom of Khalida Jarrar, Khitam Saafin and the thousands of Palestinian prisoners in prisons of the Israeli occupation.