Urgent: Demand Freedom for Khalida Jarrar and Khitam Saafin, Palestinian leaders seized by Israeli occupation forces

Israeli occupation forces seized prominent Palestinian leftist parliamentarian and prisoners’ advocate Khalida Jarrar in a pre-dawn raid on Sunday, 2 July, along with Khitam Saafin, president of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees and at least nine other people, including Ihab Massoud, just released less than six months ago from Israeli prisons, and four community leaders in al-Aroub refugee camp. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network calls for urgent international action to demand their immediate release.

Sign the petition to demand freedom for Khalida Jarrar and Khitam Saafin!

The seizure of Khalida Jarrar – now the 13th member of the Palestinian Legislative Council held by the Israeli occupation – comes slightly over one year after she was released from Israeli occupation prison after 14 months of imprisonment. She recently conducted a lengthy interview with the Journal of Palestine Studies.

Jarrar was last seized on 2 April 2015; originally ordered to administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial, the international outcry about her case caused her administrative detention to be cancelled. However, her case was then transferred to the equally-illegitimate Israeli occupation military courts.

Her daughter, Suha, captured part of the raid on their family home on video as armed occupation forces invaded:

The seizure of Jarrar was accompanied by similar raids targeting Khitam Saafin, the General Coordinator of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, who has spoken internationally and participated in many worldwide events, including the World Social Forum, linking women’s struggles internationally with the struggle of Palestinian women for national and social liberation. The UPWC has organized and hosted numerous international delegations building solidarity with Palestinian women and the Palestinian people.

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

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges international mobilization and action to demand the immediate release of Khalida Jarrar and Khitam Saafin, prominent Palestinian progressive and feminist leaders and strugglers committed to the freedom and liberation of their people. The arrests of Jarrar and Saafin clearly come as an attempt by the Israeli occupation to attack Palestinian popular movements and suppress them through fear, arrests and intimidation carried out by a massively armed occupation force.

We urge all friends of Palestine and the Palestinian people to join us in reactivating the Khalida Jarrar Solidarity Campaign as well as the campaign in solidarity with Khitam Saafin. These arrests represent an attack on the leaders, the political activity and the popular organizing of the Palestinian people. They must be met with intensified solidarity to demand the freedom of Khalida Jarrar, Khitam Saafin and all of the thousands of Palestinian prisoners behind bars in Israeli occupation prisons.

Take Action to support Khalida Jarrar and Khitam Saafin:

1. Sign the petition! Sign and share this petition, demanding freedom for Khalida Jarrar and Khitam Saafin immediately.

2. Contact your Member of Parliament, Representative, or Member of European Parliament. The attack on Khalida is an attack on Palestinian parliamentary legitimacy and political expression. The arrest of Khitam is an assault on the Palestinian women’s movement. Parliamentarians have a responsibility to pressure Israel to cancel this order.

3. Use the Campaign Resources to inform your community, parliamentarians and others about Khalida and Khitam’s case.

4. Protest at the Israeli consulate or embassy for Khalida Jarrar and Khitam Saafin. Bring posters and flyers about Khalida and Khitam’s case and hold a protest, or join a protest with this important information. Hold a community event or discussion, or include Khalida and Khitam’s case in your next event about Palestine and social justice.

5. Boycott, Divest and Sanction. Hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law. Don’t buy Israeli goods, and campaign to end investments in corporations that profit from the occupation. Learn more at bdsmovement.net.