Palestinian activists Muna and Mohammed Al Kurd (23) were arrested this afternoon. Over the past few months, the twins have been fighting the possible eviction of their family in Sheikh Jarrah, a district in East Jerusalem. With their online campaign #savesheikhjarrah they received a lot of international attention. According to the Israeli police, they are suspected of participating in disturbing peace and riots in the district.
Muna was picked up by the police at home. The cops also had a warrant for her brothers arrest, but he wasnt there at the time. Hours later, he went to the police station himself. Muna has meanwhile been released again, it is unclear whether she is still being charged. Muhammad is still stuck.
Nabil Al Kurd, the father of Muna and Muhammad, has set up a chair in front of the police station. There he spoke to the press this afternoon: “My children have been arrested for telling the truth to the world. They show people how we are evicted, just as we were driven out of our cities in 1948.”
The recent violence between Israel and the Palestinians began in Sheikh Jarrah. And while the truce between Israel and Hamas persists, the atmosphere in the district is still tense. The Palestinian inhabitants and Israeli settlers are constantly in trouble with each other. Day and night police patrol the neighborhood and large parts are closed to anyone who doesnt live there. It is still not clear whether the Palestinian families can appeal against the evictions.
How a house eviction in Jerusalem led to new confrontations:
About a month ago, a video of Muna went viral. In the video she appeals to an Israeli settler. The man is standing in her yard when she tells him to take away her house. “If I dont steal it, someone else will,” is the mans answer.
DeccEit spoke to Muna a few weeks ago at her home:
Muhammad is at least as active as his sister. During the riot around Sheikh Jarrah and the flare of violence between Israel and Hamas, he spoke to many international press. Thus, the twin brother and sister became the figurehead of the protests. This is not the first time Muhammad has been arrested. Shortly after an interview he gave to the American channel CNN, a video of his arrest by Israeli police was circulated.
Chamber committee in conversation with Mohammed
On social media, Muhammad has spoken out against the Israeli police in his district in recent days. According to him, the colonists threw stones and tear gas at their windows and nobody was arrested for that. On Twitter, he shared videos of several events in Sheikh Jarrah.
On Wednesday, Mohammed spoke via a video connection with the Chamber Committee for Foreign Affairs. There he told Dutch politicians about life in Sheikh Jarrah. Second MP Gert-Jan Segers (Christian Union) asked what he would think of a multi-ethnic and multinational Jerusalem. “It is quite racist to ask me this question,” Muhammad reacted irritably. “As if I have the power to decide this.”
In Sheikh Jarrah, more protesters and activists have recently been arrested. On Saturday, Al Jazeera journalist Givara Budeiri was arrested while reporting on a demonstration in the district. According to the police, the reporter didnt want to show her press card after which she attacked cops. Budeiri and her colleagues say that this is wrong. A few hours later, she was released.