Israeli police release prominent Sheikh Jarrah activist

Muna al-Kurd was detained after an Israeli raid on her home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem.

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Muna al-Kurd, along with her brother Mohammed al-Kurd, who has been at the forefront of a campaign to stop the expulsions of Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem, was released from custody several hours after they were arrested by Israeli police.

“No matter what they do to terrorize and evoke fear from us, no number of arrests will scare us off… We will remain here and we will continue to defend the lands that we were born and raised on,” Muna al-Kurd said after leaving custody.

On the other hand, her brother Mohammed told reporters that they are not afraid or intimidated and that they will continue to speak out against all injustices, and continue to protect their homes.

Their father, Nabil al-Kurd, had confirmed his daughter’s detention by Israeli forces. “Police are also looking for my son Mohammed, who was briefly detained last month,” he said.

Sources close to the al-Kurd family said Mohammed turned himself in to Israeli police, hours after the arrest of his sister. A few hours later, al-Kurd’s lawyer, Nasir al-Awda, said she was released from the al-Masqubiyya (Russian Compound) detention center in West Jerusalem.

It remains unclear the cause of the arrest of the two Palestinian activists. In a video clip widely circulated on social media, their father called on the Sheikh Jarrah residents to gather outside the Israeli police station in Salah al-Din Street in central Jerusalem to demand the release of the two activists, accusing the Israeli authorities of attempting to silence all critics of Israeli practices in Jerusalem.

There was no comment from Israeli police on the report.

Muna al-Kurd, who earned a degree in communications and journalism, belongs to one of 27 Palestinian families who face the threat of eviction in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

She is one of the Palestinian women leading demonstrations in Sheikh Jarrah against Israel’s forced evictions and threats of displacement. In April, an Israeli court ordered the eviction of eight Palestinian families from their houses in Sheikh Jarrah in favor of settlement groups, causing unrest across the Palestinian territory.

Israeli authorities, however, postponed giving a final decision on the eviction orders till December under Palestinian mass protests, including 11-day fighting between Israel and Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza, and international pressure.

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