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Palestinian activists released from custody hours after arrest

By Setareh Jalali

23-year-old prominent activists Muna al-Kurd and Mohammed al-Kurd were released from custody yesterday after they were held by Israeli police for several hours.

Nabil al-Kurd, father of the twins, said Muna was arrested after police raided their home in Sheikh Jarrah on Sunday. Mohammed turned himself in at a police stations later that night after receiving a summons.

The brother and sister have been at the forefront of a #SaveSheikhJarrah social media campaign to stop the expulsions of Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem.

Police confirmed the arrest of Muna for allegedly participating in “public disturbances” in Sheikh Jarrah. The reason for Mohammed’s summons has not yet been confirmed.

According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, 10 people were injured when Israeli forces fired rubber bullets and stun grenades at protestors outside the police station who were calling for the release of the activists.

Upon their release, Muna told reporters: “No matter what they do to terrorize and frighten us, no number of arrests will scare us off. We will remain in our homes and we will continue to defend our land that we were born and raised on.”

Under Israeli law, Jewish groups can claim land that belonged to Jews before the foundation of Israel in 1948, even if Palestinian families have been living there for decades.

According to Mohammed, half of the al-Kurd family home was taken over by Israeli settlers in 2009, when he and Muna were 11 years old. Mohammed previously told Al Jazeera that the “squatters with Brooklyn accents” that they share their home with frequently harass them to force them to leave the second half of their home.

The arrests came a day after Al Jazeera Arabic reporter Givara Budeiri was arrested while covering a demonstration in the neighborhood. Budeiri was released within hours after her arrest drew global condemnation.

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