Jerusalem Blast: Tracking Twitter reactions From Palestine, Saudi Arabia


India Today analyzed an array of tweets under #Operation_Jerusalem following the twin blasts in Jerusalem on November 23.

Security and rescue forces work at the scene of an explosion at a bus stop in Jerusalem on Wednesday. (Photo: Reuters)

By Bidisha Saha, Akash Sharma: Early Wednesday morning, two explosions rocked the Givat Shaul and Ramot Junction bus stops on the outskirts of Jerusalem, Israel, killing a 16-year-old boy and injuring 22 others. Police are investigating the pair of blasts and say it was a “suspected Palestinian attack”. Reuters.

The first blast occurred at 7 a.m. local time Wednesday near a central bus stop in Givat Shaul, targeting commuters during rush hour. The second occurred about half an hour apart near a busy intersection in the settlement of Ramot, north of Jerusalem.

Givat Shaul and Ramot Junction in Jerusalem, where the explosion occurred.

Parts of the motorway connecting Jerusalem and Tel Aviv were temporarily closed as Israeli police searched for other explosives that may have been planted in the city. Initial investigations revealed that shrapnel-laden explosive devices were planted to cause maximum damage. In the two blast sites, the bags were hidden in a bush and behind a wall respectively and detonated remotely via a mobile phone.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid offered his condolences to the bereaved family statement That “this event is unlike anything we’ve seen in recent years.”

Celebratory post on #Operation_Jerusalem

A look at the hashtag analysis of the now-viral #Operation_Jerusalem that stirred Twitter moments after the blasts, shows that Twitter users were mainly sharing posts celebrating the twin attacks in Palestine and Saudi Arabia.

The India Today analysis is based on a sample of 2777 tweets from November 20 (two days before the blast) to November 24. The hashtag campaign showed some synergy with the strength of 8294 posts including tweets, retweets and replies. Consists of 2533 active users.

Hashtags were analyzed using Talkwalker

The overall analysis shows that 50.9% (½ of the tweets) of the posts came from Saudi Arabia and about 15.1% from Palestine.

Network links show how specific stories spread from one Twitter account to another through retweets, quotes, replies, and mentions. Gray link lines posted from less-trusted sources. Nodes or bubbles in the network are Twitter accounts. The bigger ones have been retweeted more times, while the red ones are probably from bot accounts.

Starting with the first tweet at 7:20 AM on the morning of the blast, nearly 7k tweets and retweets from the Middle East region indicated coordination in the network.

We have selected the most viral posts under #Operation_Quds and #Operation_Jerusalem. They show users celebrating outside a bus stop while applauding the deadly attack. something Users are also guessing Hamas was behind the attack.

Some Twitter users have also circulated graphics that refer to the 2000-05 Palestinian uprising, also known as the Second Intifada, the Al-Aqsa Intifada.

Israel and Palestine

Since Earlier this year, there has been an upsurge in conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. More than 130 Palestinians were killed and at least 29 Israelis were stabbed and shot near the West Bank and East Jerusalem in nighttime raids. The Israeli army claims that most of the dead Palestinians are militants. But stone-throwing youths protesting Israeli army incursions and other protesters not involved in the clashes have also been killed.

However, bombings have been rare since the 2005 intifada, or uprising, that was marked by bombings of Israeli buses, public spaces, and suicide bombers nearly two decades ago. Wednesday’s twin blasts added to the surge and is being called the deadliest year since 2006.

Hamas statement

The Islamic militant group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip and once carried out suicide bombings against Israelis, praised the perpetrators of the attack, calling it a “heroic operation”, but claimed no responsibility for the incident. In their statement, they shifted the blame to the “Israeli occupation” saying that it is trying to “incite against the Hamas movement and disrupt its relations with the countries of the region by claiming responsibility for the attack on Jerusalem as nothing more than a cover-up. It has failed to stop the Palestinian struggle for independence.” “

Hamas spokesman Abdul Latif al-Kanua said attacks by colonial Israeli settlers against Palestinian citizens of the occupied West Bank, the desecration of Al-Ibrahimi Mosque and attempts to Judaize the city will be resisted as much as possible. Meaning, he said, the occupation is paying the price for its crimes and aggression against our people has been added





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