Israel arrests Palestinian activist Muna el-Kurd...

Dhaka, Friday   25 June 2021

Israel arrests Palestinian activist Muna el-Kurd

 International Desk

 Published: 10:03 PM, 6 June 2021  

Israel arrests Palestinian activist Muna el-Kurd

Israel arrests Palestinian activist Muna el-Kurd

Israeli security forces have arrested a Palestinian activist who played a significant role in protests against the possible eviction of Palestinian families from homes in East Jerusalem.

Videos shared online show Muna el-Kurd being taken from her home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.

Israeli police said they had detained a 23-year-old resident of Sheikh Jarrah, suspected of participating in riots.

Tensions there played a role in recent fighting between Israel and Hamas.

The conflict last month saw 11 days of hostilities in which more than 250 people were killed, most of them in Gaza, which is ruled by militant group Hamas.

Clashes that broke out in Sheikh Jarrah and at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem contributed to the increasingly charged atmosphere in the build-up to the conflict.

On Sunday, a spokeswoman for the Israeli police did not name Muna el-Kurd, but said officers had arrested a suspect "under court order".

Footage posted on social media early in the morning appeared to show Ms el-Kurd in handcuffs being escorted out of her home by Israeli security forces.

From the property, she and her brother Mohammed have used social media to bring the issue of the potential forced eviction of several Palestinian families to international attention. The families include her own, which has lived in East Jerusalem for decades.

They face eviction after Israeli courts ruled that the land belonged to a Jewish settler organisation in a long-running and bitter legal case. The case has moved on to Israel's Supreme Court, which allows the families to appeal.

Mr el-Kurd later turned himself in at a police station after receiving a police summons, according to reports.

Many Palestinians and their supporters have come to see the siblings as powerful new young voices of protest.

The family's lawyer, Nasser Odeh, said the pair faced charges of disturbing public order and "riotous acts", AFP news agency reported.

Muna el-Kurd's arrest came just hours after a journalist for the Al Jazeera news network, Givara Budeiri, was briefly detained while reporting from Sheikh Jarrah.

Israeli police accused Ms Budeiri of assaulting officers. She has denied the allegations.

Al Jazeera condemned the arrest of its journalist, who was covering a sitting protest against the threat to evict Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah and wearing a press vest at the time.

The network said in a statement that the incident showed a "total disregard for the fundamental human rights of journalists".