Helicopters hovering

Ramallah seems quite tense. The Israelis only left Nablus yesterday, after two days of raids and curfews on the city. And I just heard on al-Jazeera they were back in there today. It’s the first time in ages I’ve heard about them enforcing a curfew. I read they killed one, injuring and arresting many others. On way home from work today I wondered if they were gearing up to do something similar in Ramallah. They killed another three in an invasion in Jenin today — they were reportedly fighters. Seems like the new Israeli “defence” minister wants to make an impression already.

Disconcertingly, an Israeli helicopter was hovering over Ramallah today. People I spoke to said it was interfering with their TV reception. And sure enough, when I got home the satellite reception was very dodgy indeed for a few hours. Honestly — they cant even leave us alone to watch TV in peace.

Saw Mustafa Barghouti on al-Arabya news channel up in Nablus helping the PRCS ambulance teams on the scene a couple days ago. Not sure how much actual medical work he was doing (am I’m sure it won’t hurt his poll ratings) but I couldn’t help but be impressed — you’d never see Mahmoud Abbas or any such politicians doing anything on the ground like that.

Working at Palestine Times is weird. It’s great in some ways but frustrating in others. We get some genuinely unique articles that I know for a fact you can see no where else in the world in English. It’s within the reach of the Israeli English-language media to have such articles, but their overwhelmingly Zionist bias precludes that possibility. Yes — we get some great stuff but it’s frustrating that almost no one is seeing it. Our circulation is still low and the website is paid-subscription only. I’m going to push for the website to be free (all the paper’s competitors have free websites) but we’ll see how far I get (probably not very).

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