Tuesday, March 19, 2019

IDF troops shoot and kill a Palestinian suspected of shooting Israeli soldiers and settlers near Salfit on 3/17. According to Palestinian eyewitnesses, the Israeli soldiers surrounded the suspect’s home in Abwein village near Ramallah and called for him to turn himself in before opening fire at the home. The shooting sparks clashes in the village late at night; 9 Palestinians are injured. Elsewhere in the West Bank, Israeli forces deliver a stop-work order to a Palestinian equestrian facility under construction north of Jerusalem. IDF troops arrest 2 Palestinians during a raid of a Palestinian school in Hebron and 5 more during late-night raids near Hebron, Tubas, and Salfit. They also patrol near Ramallah, Hebron, and Salfit. Late at night, Israeli settlers slash the tires of 17 Palestinian vehicles and leave racist graffiti on nearby walls in Battir village near Jerusalem. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolish a Palestinian school building under construction in Shu‘fat refugee camp. They also deliver a stop-work order to a Palestinian building under construction in Qalandia. Along Gaza’s northern border, hundreds of Palestinians gather to continue the Great March of Return and to cheer on a number of Palestinian fishing boats sailing in a symbolic challenge to the Israeli blockade. IDF troops and Israeli naval forces violently disperse the demonstrations; at least 11 Palestinians are injured. (HA, MNA, MNA, WAFA 3/19; HA, MNA, MNA 3/20)

The Israeli authorities announce a 4-day closure of the West Bank and Gaza, starting tonight and ending at midnight on 3/23. The closure surrounds the Jewish holiday Purim. All border crossings in and out of the occupied Palestinian territories are to be suspended, with an exception for humanitarian cases. (JP, MNA, TOI 3/19)