Saturday, March 31, 2018

Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian protesters participating in the Great March of Return for a 2d day in a row near Bayt Hanun, al-Bureij refugee camp, Rafah, and Jabaliya refugee camp; at least 25 Palestinians are injured. In the West Bank, PA president Abbas calls for a general strike and a day of mourning for the 16 Palestinians killed in Gaza on 3/30. IDF troops violently disperse Palestinians gathering in Hebron to protest the killings; several Palestinians are injured. IDF troops also arrest 2 Palestinians during late-night raids near Bethlehem and patrol near Hebron. Israeli police shoot and injure a Palestinian driver allegedly after he rams 1 of their vehicles near Nablus. In Israel, hundreds of Palestinians march through Umm al-Fahm in commemoration of Land Day. (MNA, TOI, WAFA 3/31; YA 4/1; PCHR 4/5)

U.S. diplomats block the UNSC from adopting a Kuwait-backed statement calling for an “independent and transparent” investigation into the IDF’s deadly crackdown on the Great March of Return, according to several diplomats. “The wording was acceptable to all members of the council excluding the U.S.,” says Israel’s ambassador to the UN Danon. Later, European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini calls for an independent and transparent investigation. (AFP, HA, TOI 3/31; HA, JP 4/1)

An Israeli drone crashes in southern Lebanon. According to the Lebanese press, a 2d drone destroys the first after it crashed. (HA, YA 3/31)