This is not the first time Israel has detained or arrested Palestinian activists. But the mass arrests since the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas — agreeing to end the recent cycle of violence — may backfire.
This time the detention of Palestinian activists and journalists is reinvigorating peaceful resistance that has been brewing for a long time, and has launched a new generation of Palestinian idols who are fighting to protect their homeland and advocating for self-determination.
in a statement, The Israeli police stated that it initiated “Operational law and order“Bring the rioters to justice and “maintain public peace.” It added that so far, “2,142 detainees have been registered.”
However, the Palestinians stated that the Israeli police arrested those who protested peacefully for unclear but obvious purposes. Shatter the momentum of their movement, Which accelerated the pace last month.
The Israeli police may have proved the Palestinians right when they arrested Muna al-Kurd. The 23-year-old activist has always emphasized the Israeli court’s order that her family and several others were forcibly deported from the country. They are at Sheikh Jarrah’s home -A block in the center of East Jerusalem. Her twin brother Mohammed al-Kurd was also summoned and questioned by the police.
They were a reporter from Al Jazeera’s media network the day before they were arrested. Jivara Boudari, Was briefly detained while Sheikh Jarrah reported.
Although the brothers and sisters were later released, their arrest would only add momentum to their struggle.Their story reflects the story of deprivation Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians And it is becoming more prominent now.
In 2009, when Jewish settlers moved into their Sheikh Jarrah home, Muna and Mohammed were less than 11 years old and took over according to another court order at the time Half of them.
Her father was forced to leave his ancestral home in Haifa in 1948 and was resettled in Sheikh Jala by Jordan and the UN refugee agency in 1956 in exchange for giving up his refugee status.
Not only did Mu Na and Muhammad inherit the trauma of generations, but they were also forced to share their home with strangers. They have been opposing Israeli settlements since they were young, filming tensions between Palestinians and settlers, and are often interviewed by international filmmakers.
But in March of this year, when the court ordered them to be expelled from their spouse’s home, the brothers and sisters endured it. More intense struggles on social media. They are considered to be behind the popular #SaveSheikhJarrah on Twitter.
Munnar challenged a Jewish settler and condemned him for “stealing” her home. Video footage went viral on the Internet, while Muhammad was interviewed by several American broadcasters and other international networks.
Was asked in the interview Regarding whether he supported the “violent” protests that took place in Sheikh Jala in support of the Palestinians, Mohammed asked succinctly: “Do you support the violent deprivation of me and my family?” The video also spread quickly. It resonated with the Palestinians at home and among the diaspora.
Muna and Mohammed are examples of a new generation of influencers in Palestinian society, with a large following on social media. They use the media effectively to organize dissent and spread their information to local and international audiences.
Anwar Mhajne, an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Stonewall College, said the activism of the brothers and sisters in using social media, their youth and their persistence in fighting for the Palestinian cause have mobilized more activists. Thousands of followers.
“Muna and Mohamed Kurd have been at the forefront of spreading awareness of the threat of deportation faced by Palestinian families in Sheikh Jala,” Mahane told Al Jazeera. “After a video posted by their friends, social media users united to support their siblings, which showed Muna being detained in her home in front of her father.”
Outside the police station, a dozen peaceful protesters were threatened Stun grenade By the police force.
“The Arabic hashtag #الحرية_لمنى_الكرد, meaning the freedom of Muna Kurd, and #FreeMunaElKurd, have been widely circulated on the Internet because thousands of people have responded to the arrest of this famous activist,” Mhajne added.
The effective use of the Internet and social media has enabled Palestinians around the world to transcend geographical separation and allow their voices to be heard. But for people in Israel and the occupied territories, expressing your opinion is still fraught with risks for the Palestinians.
“They are easy targets for harassment by Israeli security forces and extremists,” Mhajne said, but “their public visibility and large following on social media make it more challenging for the state to suppress their voices.”
According to legal experts, 65 Israeli law Discriminate against Palestinians. Some of them are designed to prevent them from protesting or organizing as field activists.
“Since 1967, all kinds of multi-person meetings, all organizations, all demonstrations, or any activities that raise the flag of Palestine or political parties have been prohibited in the occupied territories,” Palestinian American historian and professor of history Said Rashid Khalidi. Modern History of the Middle East at Columbia University.
“These actions are considered’terrorism’ and can be imprisoned and fined through the military injustice system. The judges and prosecutors are from the occupying forces and the convictions are almost automatic.”
Fadi Quran, West Bank community organizer and event director for non-profit organizations AwazSaid that although the arrests tried to shift the energy on the streets from “active action to a space of defense and fear,” they also increased the credibility of some youth leaders.
“Palestinian youth radicalism is reviving because this generation feels a deep sense of agency,” the Quran says. “Recent incidents will only increase momentum and growth, which is why Israeli security forces are stepping up their efforts to pass mass arrests and Increase the use of violence. “
It remains to be seen how successful the Palestinian young generation will achieve their goals. But as their popularity in Palestine and the West increased, it became clear that the Israeli arrest might have scored an own goal.
It is difficult for the Israeli army to convince the world that Mouna, Mohamed Kurd or Al Jazeera reporters attacked and detained by them committed or promoted violence.