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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Qatar Twitter users reacts to Israeli arrest of prominent Palestinian Sheikh Jarrah activists


Prominent media figures and other social media users from Qatar took to Twitter to condemn Israel’s continued assaults against Palestinians.

Social media users across Qatar denounced the detainment of activists Muna al-Kurd and her brother Mohammed on Sunday, both of whom have been at the forefront of a campaign to protest the forced expulsion of Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah.

Video footage showed Muna being detained by a number of Israeli forces at her home on Sunday. Her brother then handed himself in for questioning after being called by Israeli authorities.

The arrest of the siblings caused global uproar, with an outpouring of condemnation and support from social media users in Qatar.

In a tweet, prominent Qatari journalist Jaber Al Harami shared the moment in which Israeli forces took Muna from her home in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood while searching for her brother Mohammad.

“If they detained #منى_الكرد [Muna al-Kurd] there are thousands and thousands of Muna and Mohammad,” Al Harami said.

Al Jazeera producer, Linah Al Saafin also shared a video showing the final moments before Mohammed was seen walking into an Israeli police station for interrogation

“A reminder that there is no semblance of justice for a settler-colonialist state, and its police, military, and courts are all instruments of oppression,” she said.

The father of the two, Nabil al-Kurd, told reporters that armed Israeli occupiers had handed a notice ordering her twin brother Mohammad to turn himself in, Al Jazeera reported.

In a video, Muna was heard telling her parents not to be afraid and urged them to call a lawyer before being dragged out of her house.

The al-Kurds siblings are both behind the #SaveSheikhJarrah social media campaign which was first launched amid escalating attacks by Israeli forces and extremist settlers who were forcing Palestinians out of their homes to make way for illegal settlements.

The siblings drew global attention to the story of Sheikh Jarrah – a neighbourhood in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem – which has been trending on social media globally since last month.

Half of the al-Kurd family home was forcefully stolen by Israeli settlers in 2009. 

Previously, Mohammed told Al Jazeera that sharing their home with “squatters with Brooklyn accents” was “insufferable, intolerable [and] terrible”.

“They are just sitting in our home, tormenting us, harassing us, doing everything they can to not only force us to leave the second half of our home but also harassing our neighbours into leaving their homes as part of an effort to completely annihilate the presence of Palestinians from Jerusalem,” Mohammed said, who was 11 years old when the settlers kicked his family out of their own home.

Their detention comes a day after Al Jazeera Arabic journalist Givara Budeiri was brutally arrested on Saturday while covering a peaceful sit-in in the same East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah

Just hours later and after global outrage, Budeiri was released.

Last week, a number of Israeli forces invaded the neighbourhood and assaulted Palestinian families by beating and shooting tear gas and sound bombs at them.

Amid the attack, 20 Palestinians were injured and at least four men and one girl were detained, with two released the following day, according to local Palestinian media.

Qatar’s position

Last month, Qatar and Egypt-brokered ceasefire in Gaza was implemented, a crucial move that ended Israeli bombardment and brutal attacks that killed 248 Palestinians including 66 children in Gaza.

On Friday, Qatar’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani reiterated Doha’s position saying steps to move toward normalising relations with the occupying state remains “unlikely.”

He noted that establishing ties with Israel will not put an end to the ongoing occupation of Palestine.

“We see from our point of view in Qatar, which I can comment on, that the main reason for the lack of a relationship between us and Israel is the occupation of the Palestinian territories, and the reason is still there, still valid, and there is no step or any hope toward peace yet,” the foreign minister told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday.

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