Israeli police detained prominent activist El-Kurd

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JERUSALEM: On Sunday morning Israeli police arrested Mona el-Kurd, 23, at her home in Sheikh Jarrah, where a legal battle between Israeli settlers and several Palestinian families has crystallised anger over Israel's settlement movement.

They also left a summons for her twin brother, Muhammad.

Israeli police said that Mona was "suspected of having participated in riots and other recent incidents in Sheikh Jarrah".

They did not give details on the status of Mohammad, who had handed himself in after the summons, but family lawyer Nasser Odeh indicated that the 23-year-old remained under investigation.

Protesters had gathered outside the east Jerusalem police station, where their father, Nabil el-Kurd, told AFP said his daughter's arrest was part of "an operation to terrorise the parents, because the voice that emerged from the neighbourhood was thanks to its youth".

Protests in Sheikh Jarrah spread early last month into the city's Al-Aqsa mosque compound, sparking a crackdown by Israeli security forces against Palestinians there that further inflamed tensions.

Hamas, the group that controls the Palestinian enclave of Gaza, responded by launching rockets towards Israel on May 10.

What followed was 11 days of bombardments by Israeli forces in the Strip.

While Palestinians and their backers see the issue as a microcosm of Israeli efforts to push them out of the highly contested city, Jewish settlers and their supporters have labelled it a property dispute to be decided by Israeli courts.

Looming evictions
The el-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.

Video posted online on Sunday showed Mona being led away in handcuffs.

Speaking to journalists outside the police station, their father said that Palestinian residents would stay in Sheikh Jarrah to "document the facts and show the terrorism practiced by the Israeli government."

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