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Palestinian actress Maisa Abd Elhadi — who starred in Hulu’s Baghdad Central and last year’s Venice-bowing feature Gaza Mon Amour — has been injured after allegedly being shot by Israel police during a demonstration on Sunday in the city of Haifa.
Elhadi had been part of a protest against an upcoming Israeli court ruling that, if passed, would allow authorities to forcefully expel several Palestinian families from their homes in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, one of numerous demonstrations that have erupted around Israel and the West Bank in recent days.
Following widely-shared pictures of Elhadi in the back of the ambulance, the actress — who has also starred in the Nat Geo miniseries The State and will appear in Hany Abu Assad’s upcoming feature Huda’s Salon — posted a note on Instagram saying she thanked everybody “who helped me and took care of me,” adding that was “alright, but I was injured on my leg.” In a second post, she said she had been “injured by the occupation’s bullets.” Stories that she later reposted on Instagram claimed that she was shot by live ammunition.
The past few days have seen escalating bloodshed in Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank and Gaza, amid growing anger over the planned expulsions from Sheikh Jarrah, which would see Palestinian homes given to Jewish settlers and what is seen by Palestinians as increased Israeli aggression.
On Friday, 200 Palestinians were reportedly injured when Israeli forces stormed Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, the third-holiest site in the Muslim world, during Ramadan prayers.
In response, Hamas, which has ruled over Gaza since 2007, issued an ultimatum to Israel to withdraw its security forces from both Al-Aqsa and Sheikh Jarrah, with militant groups firing rockets into Israel shortly after. Many of the rockets were intercepted but some made direct hits on apartment buildings. The national ambulance service, Magen David Adom, said rocket strikes killed two women in the southern city of Ashkelon on Tuesday afternoon. Israel retaliated with airstrikes against Gaza, reportedly killing 24 people, including nine children.
The situation in Sheikh Jarrah, a relatively small neighborhood in East Jerusalem that was captured and occupied by Israeli forces during the 1967 war, has become a talking point around the world.
Among the Hollywood names to have brought up the issue is Viola Davis, who on Monday published a series of Instagram posts under the headline “Let’s talk about what’s going on in Sheikh Jarrah,” highlighting the plight of the Palestinians in the area, pointing out that the forced evictions violated international law.
Natalie Portman, who in 2018 rejected Israel’s Genesis Prize after Israeli forces shot and killed scores of Palestinians protesting on the Gaza border, later shared Davis’ Instagram posts.
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