Sunday, March 31, 2013

Dozens of right-wing Jewish activists visit the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, prompting clashes with Palestinian worshippers, some of whom are arrested by Israeli police. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Tulkarm, 2 nr. Hebron, and 1 each nr. Qalqilya and Ramallah at night. (MNA 3/31; PCHR 4/4)

Palestinian pres. Mahmud Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah II sign an agreement in Amman to defend Jerusalem and its Islamic and Christian holy sites, though no specific details are given beyond general ‘‘coordination’’ of efforts. (MNA 3/31)

Natural gas from the Tamar reservoir in the Mediterranean Sea begins to flow into Israel via Ashdod. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu welcomes this as a step towards ‘‘energy independence.’’ (NYT 3/31)

Egyptian media report that Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh meets with Egyptian intelligence chief Rafaat Shehata to discuss Palestinian reconciliation and the cease-fire with Israel. (AP 3/31)