Monday, March 25, 2019

Unidentified persons launch a rocket from Gaza into central Israel. It strikes an Israeli home north of Tel Aviv, injuring 7 Jewish Israelis and causing damage. The Israeli Air Force then retaliates with dozens of air strikes on Hamas sites all across Gaza, causing extensive damage and injuring at least 3 Palestinians. Palestinians in Gaza respond, firing at least 50 projectiles into southern Israel and setting of hours of cross-border attacks. An hour after an Egyptian- and UN-backed cease-fire is supposed to go into effect, 30 projectiles are fired into Israel from Gaza. Most are intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. The rest land in open areas, causing no damage or injuries. The Israeli Air Force then continues its air strikes across Gaza, bombing at least 15 targets in and around Jabaliya refugee camp and causing extensive damage. (EI, HA, HA, HA, JP, MNA, MNA, MNA, TOI, TOI, TOI, WAFA, YA, YA 3/25; HA, MNA, YA 3/26; PCHR 3/28)

After a rocket from Gaza strikes an Israeli home near Tel Aviv (see above), Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu announces that he is cutting his trip to the U.S. short. He still meets with President Donald Trump at the White House, but he skips his planned address at the annual AIPAC conference. At their meeting, Trump signs a formal declaration conveying U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, codifying his 3/21 pledge. Meanwhile, the Israeli authorities decide to indefinitely shut down the Erez and Kerem Shalom border crossings, blocking all traffic of persons and good in and out of Gaza. (EI, HA, HA, HA, JP, MNA, MNA, MNA, TOI, TOI, TOI, WAFA, YA, YA 3/25; HA, MNA, YA 3/26)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers spray-paint racist anti-Palestinian graffiti on Palestinian vehicles and buildings near Jerusalem. They also puncture the tires of 28 Palestinian vehicles. Separately, settlers chop down a number of olive and almond trees in a Palestinian grove near Hebron. Israeli forces deliver stop-work orders to 2 Palestinian homes under construction near Hebron and a water well under construction near Tubas. IDF troops arrest 6 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Hebron and Ramallah; and patrol near Salfit and Qalqilya. An unexploded piece of Israeli ordnance detonates near Bethlehem, injuring 3 Palestinian minors. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 9 Palestinians during late-night raids in al-Tur, Jabal Mukabir, Hizma, and Silwan. (MNA, MNA, MNA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/25; PCHR 3/28)