Palestinian activist twins Muna and Mohammed el-Kurd released following detention by Israeli forces
Israeli forces released late on Sunday two prominent Palestinian activists whose campaign against the threatened expulsion of Palestinian families from homes in the flashpoint Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah has found a global audience.
Mona el-Kurd, 23, was taken into custody on Sunday morning after Israeli forces raided her home in the Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem district, where several Palestinian families faced forced evictions.
Security forces also left a summons for her twin brother, Muhammad, who later turned himself in.
Israeli police alleged that Mona was "suspected of having participated in riots and other recent incidents in Sheikh Jarrah".
Both activists were later released and returned home.
While in detention, Mona had been "threatened in an attempt to stop her carrying on with her legally permitted activities", family lawyer Nasser Odeh said.
Their father Nabil el-Kurd said she had been denied access to a lawyer during interrogation, adding that the detentions were "an operation to terrorise the parents, because the voice that emerged from the neighbourhood was thanks to its youth".
As Mona left custody, security forces used stun grenades and fired rubber-coated bullets to disperse protesters who had gathered outside the east Jerusalem police station where she had been held. The Palestinian Red Crescent said 18 people were wounded.
The Kurd twins, from one of the families that faces being ousted from their home, have led an active protest movement on the streets and online.
They have gained hundreds of thousands of followers on platforms including Twitter and Instagram, using the hashtags #SheikhJarrah and #SaveSheikhJarrah to bring their neighbourhood's plight global attention.
"Our weapon is the tongue and the camera," their father said.
"Muhammad and Mona made the whole world turn around for our cause."