Telling a story in Tweets

OK, here we go, in an experiment in new media journalism: I’m going to repost, in chronological order from first to last, my Tweets this morning on a story about Jerusalem.

Some related background, by Khaled Abu Toameh, was published on 17 December in the Jerusalem Post here.

[Maybe it’s a bit rough, this experimental hybrid technique may need polishing, or maybe it won’t work — but here’s a try. Meanwhile, my Twitter name — you can, if you’d like, follow me there — is @Marianhouk]

(1) Palestinians in “East” as well as N + S Jerusalem have sulked 4 years about PA abandonment, are unprepared to carry out their own resistance
9:52 AM – 21 Dec 11 via web

(2) Palestinian grievances in East, N + S Jlem are very grave, very real, leadership lacking. Sparks now: huge new IDF terminal near Shofat Camp
9:53 AM – 21 Dec 11 via web

(3) Nobody knows when huge new IDF/Border Police will open, next to Shoafat Refugee Camp, once only camp in Jlem, now behind military checkpoint
9:54 AM – 21 Dec 11 via web

(4) But very bright lights at night show huge Israeli military structure next to Shoafat Camp, 7-8 passenger + cargo lanes almost ready for use.
9:55 AM – 21 Dec 11

(5) Why new road construction [unexplained] bet. Maale Adumim + huge new about-to-open “border” terminal next to Shoafat Refugee Camp in E Jlem?
9:57 AM – 21 Dec 11 via web

(6) Fears of the apparent inevitable in EJlem are rising, incidents weekly or more at Israeli military checkpoint going in+out of Shoafat Camp
10:00 AM – 21 Dec 11 via web

(7) Shoafat tensions seem related to new shock strategy of Fatah’s Jlem area leader, Hatem Abdel Qader, to attack Israeli-Palestinian meetings
10:09 AM – 21 Dec 11 via web

(8) Hatem Abdel Qader is, as Gershon Baskin notes, the only Fatah leader behind call to block Is-PAL meetings in Jlem, but there’s a FB campaign
10:10 AM – 21 Dec 11 via web

(9) Palestine-Israel Journal had their EJlem meeting abt Arab Spring yesterday cancelled at last minute by Legacy Hotel management after threats
10:13 AM – 21 Dec 11 via web

(10) Legacy Hotel in EJlem [management from N Israel] told PAL-Is Journal that there were threatening phone calls, demands not to host meeting
10:15 AM – 21 Dec 11 via web

(11) Explanation from PAL-Is Journal [email]: Legacy Hotel owner said “he cares about his business + doesn’t want any political involvement”
10:17 AM – 21 Dec 11 via web

(12) A previous Israeli-Palestinian meeting at the Ambassador Hotel in EJlem was cancelled last week after PAL protesters disrupted session
10:18 AM – 21 Dec 11 via web

(13) Stated reason for new shock campaign against Is-PAL meetings in EJlem: coexistence + normalization projects ignore devastating PAL reality
10:22 AM – 21 Dec 11 via web

(14) PIJ editors say that bitter feelings are against the PA too, “which is also held responsible for letting down the Palestinians of Jerusalem”
10:38 AM – 21 Dec 11 via web

(15) Palestine-Israel Journal Co-Editors who wrote about cancellation under threat of meeting at Legacy Hotel: Ziad AbuZayyad + Hillel Schenker
10:40 AM – 21 Dec 11 via web

Continue reading Telling a story in Tweets

How Palestinian Authority politics work

Basem (Correction from comment below: Bassim) Khoury won a lot of admiration and respect when he reportedly resigned, at the beginning of October, in protest of the (later reversed) Palestinian decision to withdraw support from a resolution they (the Palestinians) had been drafting in the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in support of the Goldstone report on last winter’s Gaza war. At that time, the Palestinian leadership agreed to another resolution, which was adopted, postponing consideration of the Goldstone report until March 2010.

Then, Bassim Khoury (a successful businessman who heads a Ramallah-based pharmaceutical company, and a good-looking nice guy who regularly brings flowers to his wife) refused to confirm these reports when contacted by various media.

Continue reading How Palestinian Authority politics work

Maher Hanoun in East Jerusalem: "We do not want any tent – we want our home"

In the early morning hours on Sunday, Israeli Border Police broke into the homes of the Hanoun and Ghawi families in Sheikh Jarrah, north of the Old City but still part of downtown East Jerusalem, and forcibly expelled at gunpoint three families from one building (only one of them was under court expulsion order) and four from another (there, only one was under court expulsion order).

Over 50 Palestinian refugees (from the 1948 Arab-Israeli war) immediately became homeless, with nowhere to go. No provisions were made to care for their household possessions or to shelter them by the Israeli authorities who have administered the area since their conquest in the June 1967 war, and who had ordered the expulsions to be carried out.

Sunday night, the Hanoun and Ghawi families were out on the streets. “The Red Cross came and offered us tents”, said Maher Hanoun, “But we do not want any tent. We do not want rations of rice and sugar. We want to return to our home”.

Just after the eviction operation, settlers moved in, protected by the Israeli Border Police.

Israeli settlers move into Hanoun home in Sheikh Jarrah - 2 August 2009

Continue reading Maher Hanoun in East Jerusalem: "We do not want any tent – we want our home"

East Jerusalem, o East Jerusalem

Sunday morning, the first messages came by SMS: Israeli settlers, supported by Israeli Police, had taken over and were demolishing a Palestinian home in Sheikh Jarrah.

Then, subsequent messages reported that several members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), and the Palestinian Authority recently-resigned Minister for Jerusalem Affairs (who seems to be still functioning in the position), Hatem Abdel-Qader, had been detained with them. Then, an SMS saying that Hatem Abdel Qader had been arrested.

In the late afternoon, a call came saying that there were fears of an imminent attack on the house of Maher Hanoun and his family, and two other families (a total of 17 persons), Maher Hanoun and another Palestinian were given a court deadline of 19 July to evacuate.

Continue reading East Jerusalem, o East Jerusalem