Monday, March 4, 2019

After unidentified Palestinians fly 2 incendiary balloons from Gaza into southern Israel, causing no damage or injuries, the Israeli Air Force conducts air strikes on 2 Hamas military sites near Gaza City, causing extensive damage. Hours later, IDF troops violently disperse hundreds of Palestinians gathering to continue the Great March of Return near al-Bureij refugee camp; there are no serious injuries. Off Gaza’s coast, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats near Bayt Lahiya, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops arrest 8 Palestinians during late-night raids near Jenin, Ramallah, and Bethlehem; and patrol near Nablus. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 1 Palestinian during a raid in Issawiyya. (HA, MNA, MNA, MNA, WAFA, WAFA 3/4; MNA 3/5; PCHR 3/7)

The U.S. formally merges its consulate in Jerusalem and its new embassy in the city to “form a single diplomatic mission.” The embassy’s new “Palestinian Affairs Unit” will serve Palestinians in Jerusalem out of the old consulate building, where all diplomacy with the Palestinians was based out of previously. In response, the PLO releases a statement calling the merging of the two offices a “denial of international law.” (AP, HA, JP, MNA 3/4; MNA 3/5)