Israeli police detain Palestinian activist twins from Sheikh Jarrah - GulfToday

Israeli police detain Palestinian activist twins from Sheikh Jarrah


The family's lawyer said police charged Mona Al Kurd with "acts that disturb peace and order" and "riotous acts."

Israeli police detained two prominent Palestinian activists on Sunday who have become the face of a campaign to halt Palestinian evictions from a flashpoint East Jerusalem neighbourhood.

Supporters of Muna and Mohammed Al Kurd, who are twins, say their detention is part of a broader Israeli effort to halt opposition to the evictions in Sheikh Jarrah, where Jewish settlers want to move into the Al Kurds' home and others under an Israeli court ruling.

MonaAlKurd-ArrestedIsraeli security officers transfer Mona Al Kurd out of a police station in east Jerusalem on Sunday. AFP

Without explicitly naming Muna Al Kurd, 23, an Israeli police spokeswoman said "police arrested under court order a suspect (23) who is a resident of East Jerusalem, on suspicion of participating in riots that took place in Sheikh Jarrah recently."

The family's lawyer, Nasser Odeh, said police charged Mona el-Kurd with "acts that disturb peace and order" and "riotous acts."

Footage on social media showed her handcuffed and being escorted out of her home by Israeli officers earlier on Sunday. Police did not immediately comment on her twin brother Mohammed, who turned himself in at a police station in East Jerusalem after receiving a police summons.

Looming evictions

The Kurd twins, whose family is currently under threat of losing their home, have led an active protest movement on the streets and online. They have gained more than 180,000 Twitter follower, and more than half a million on Instagram, using the hashtags #SheikhJarrah and #SaveSheikhJarrah to bring their neighbourhood's plight global attention.

What's happening is that they (Israel) want to quiet all of our voices in Jerusalem," said their father, Nabil Al Kurd, calling on Palestinian youth to protest outside the police station on East Jerusalem's Salah Al Din street.

MonaAlKurd-Palestinian-activistA relative kisses Mona Al Kurd as she arrives home after being released from a police station. AFP

Their father, who spoke to AFP in front of the police station, dubbed his daughter's arrest part of "an operation to terrorise the parents, because the voice that emerged from the neighbourhood was thanks to its youth."

He said his son Muhammad had been away teaching in the West Bank city of Ramallah but was on his way back to cooperate with the police summons.

Journalist arrested

The detentions comes a day after police in Sheikh Jarrah arrested a reporter of Al Jazeera who had been covering a protest there.

IALjazeera-reporterIsraeli forces arrest Givara Budeiri during a protest in the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah. AP

On Saturday Israeli forces arrested Al Jazeera reporter Givara Budeiri "in a brutal manner," the network said in a statement, adding that authorities had destroyed a videographer's camera as he was trying to work. Budeiri was released from custody several hours after her arrest.

Al Jazeera television's acting director-general, Mostefa Souag, decried "the systematic targeting of our journalists," dubbing it "in total violation of all international conventions."

The Paris-headquartered Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has voiced concern over Israel's "disproportionate use of force against journalists." It criticised "attacks" on reporters filming in Sheikh Jarrah, the detention of Palestinian reporters, and the Jewish state's demolition of a tower in the besieged Gaza Strip where news outlets operated.


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