On June 6, I woke up to a notification on WhatsApp: Muna el-Kurd had been detained by Israeli police in Jerusalem. I watched the video of Muna being taken from her family’s home as Israeli police told her parents that they would return “every hour, every minute” until her twin brother, Mohammad, was detained too. For months, the 23-year-old el-Kurd twins had become the faces of Palestinian resistance in Sheikh Jarrah, broadcasting on Twitter and Instagram how they and seven other families refused to be forcibly expelled from their homes by Israeli settlers.
These detentions were just the latest example of digital violence against Palestinians, a practice that both amplifies and reinforces the violence we face in the physical world. These current events are not flashes of mistreatment, but emblematic of an entrenched state of apartheid and systemic persecution by Israel. In the digital world, this violence takes on a new resonance.