Palestinian activist behind social media campaign against forced expulsions in Sheikh Jarrah taken to police station after raid on home.
Israeli police have detained activist Muna al-Kurd, who has been at the forefront of the campaign to stop the forced expulsions of Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, according to Palestinian news agency WAFA.
Muna’s father, Nabil al-Kurd, told reporters that the 23-year-old activist was detained after police raided their home in Sheikh Jarrah, WAFA reported, adding that the police handed a notice ordering her twin brother Mohammad to turn himself in to the police.
He said his daughter was taken to an Israeli police station in Salaheddine Street in the occupied East Jerusalem.
“Don’t be afraid,” she is seen telling her family, as she is being led out of the house by the Israeli police, according to a video circulating on social media.
Mohammad al-Kurd, along with his sister, are behind a three-month-old #SaveSheikhJarrah social media campaign against the forced expulsions of Palestinians from their homes.
Her detention comes a day after Al Jazeera Arabic journalist Givara Budeiri was arrested on Saturday while covering a demonstration in Sheikh Jarrah. Budeiri was released hours later after her arrest drew global condemnation.
Partly thanks to the siblings, the story of Sheikh Jarrah – a neighbourhood in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem – has become a global hashtag since last month.
Moment the 23 year old Muna el-Kurd is arrested from her home. She says “call the lawyer, don’t be afraid”.#SheikhJarrah pic.twitter.com/IbASAVpVYV
— لينة (@LinahAlsaafin) June 6, 2021
In recent months, the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood has seen a series of sit-ins by Palestinians to protest against Israeli orders for them to vacate their homes, which they have described as a continuation of the ethnic cleansing that began with the Nakba in 1948.
Israel occupied east Jerusalem in 1967, later annexing it in a move never recognised by the international community.
Under Israeli law, Jewish groups can claim land that belonged to Jews before the foundation of Israel 1948, even if Palestinian families have been living there for decades.
Palestinians whose ancestors became refugees in the 1948 war have no means to retrieve their homes or land in modern-day Israel. More than 700,000 Palestinians were driven out of their homes in 1948 when Israel was declared an independent state.
On Monday night, dozens of Israeli forces stormed the neighbourhood and assaulted Palestinian families by beating and shooting tear gas and sound bombs at them. According to local Palestinian media, 20 people were injured, and at least four Palestinian men and one girl was arrested, with two being released on Tuesday.
Half of the al-Kurd family home was taken over by Israeli settlers in 2009. Al-Kurd’s twin brother Mohammed previously told Al Jazeera that sharing their home with “squatters with Brooklyn accents” was “insufferable, intolerable [and] terrible”.
“They are just sitting in our home, tormenting us, harassing us, doing everything they can to not only force us to leave the second half of our home but also harassing our neighbours into leaving their homes as part of an effort to completely annihilate the presence of Palestinians from Jerusalem,” Mohammed said, who was 11 years old when the settlers forced their way in.
Last March, the Israeli district court in occupied East Jerusalem ratified orders for six Palestinian families – the al-Kurds included – in Sheikh Jarrah to vacate their homes in order to make way for the settlers. The same court also ruled that another seven families should leave their homes by August 1.
An Israeli court is due to announce its verdict in the case.
The protests in Sheikh Jarrah spread early last month to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, the third holiest site in Islam, sparking a crackdown by Israeli security forces against Palestinians worshippers. The storming of the Al-Aqsa by Israeli forces caused a global outrage.
The Israeli crackdown in the occupied East Jerusalem and the raid on al-Aqsa prompted Hamas, the group that governs Gaza, to fire rockets on Israel.
Israel launched an 11-day military assault on Gaza that left more than 250 Palestinian dead, including 66 children.
Al Jazeera and news agencies