Palestine/Israel unrest

This item appears on page 18 of the May 2019 issue.

Two long-range missiles were fired from the Gaza Strip on March 14, landing outside of Tel Aviv, Israel, and causing no damage or casualties. They were the first missiles fired at Tel Aviv since the 2014 Gaza War. After the missiles were fired, Israeli jets and helicopters conducted air strikes on strategic but reportedly abandoned locations in Gaza, injuring two people.

After the air strikes, it was reported that Israeli officials believed the missiles had been fired by accident during routine maintenance.

In the West Bank settlement of Ariel on March 20, an Israeli soldier was stabbed to death by a Palestinian, who then took the soldier’s rifle and shot at passing cars, killing one Israeli and injuring another before fleeing on foot. A suspect in the attack was later killed by soldiers.

On March 21, two Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank city of Nablus after an explosive device was thrown from their passing car at Jewish worshipers entering Joseph’s Tomb. No other injuries were reported.

On March 24, a missile fired from southern Gaza hit a family home in the central-Israel town of Mishmeret, injuring seven people. After the rocket was fired, Israel conducted air strikes against Hamas targets in Gaza. Rockets were again fired from Gaza on March 26, prompting more air strikes.

On the weekend of March 30-31, tens of thousands of Palestinians gathered on the Gaza border with Israel to mark one year since right-to-return protests began along the border. During the event, four Palestinians were killed by Israeli troops.

Due to a deal brokered by Egypt, which included the cessation of rocket attacks from Gaza, on March 31 Israel ended a fishing blockade off the Gaza coast and, despite the protests, reopened border crossings into Gaza.