Protests in Nablus and Beirut demand freedom for Jarrar and Saafin

Dozens of women in Nablus took to the streets to participate in a rally demanding the immediate release of Khalida Jarrar, Palestinian political leader and leftist, feminist parliamentarian, and Khitam Saafin, the president of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees. Both were seized by Israeli occupation forces in violent pre-dawn raids on their Ramallah homes on Sunday, 2 July.

The Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees in Nablus organized a protest to demand their release; participants carried photos and posters of Jarrar, Saafin and other women Palestinian prisoners, demanding their liberation and an end to the political arrest campaign targeting Palestinian leaders.

Esmat Shakshir of the UPWC spoke at the rally, saying that the occupation is exploiting Arab and international preoccupation with regional wars to intensify its violations of Palestinian rights. She emphasized that women are half of Palestinian society and an essential element in the struggle. Israel believes that if women are frightened, society as a whole can be silenced, but these arrests do not frighten us, Shakshir said. “We are committed to the cause of our homeland. We want freedom and the occupation must end.”

Another event in support of Jarrar and Saafin took place in Beirut, Lebanon, outside the headquarters of ESCWA, organized by the Progressive Women’s Union. Representatives of Palestinian and Lebanese political parties and organizations participated in the rally, including many women from the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.

Samira Salah spoke at the event, denouncing the imprisonment of Palestinians by the Israeli occupation and demanding the liberation of all Palestinian prisoners. She urged Arab and international action to free Jarrar, Saafin and fellow prisoners.