Tuesday, April 3, 2018

IDF troops violently disperse Palestinians protesting along Gaza’s border for a 5th day in a row; 1 protester is killed, bringing the death toll stemming from the Great March of Return to 17. In the West Bank, IDF troops shoot and kill a Palestinian citizen of Israel after he allegedly rams his car into a bus stop near the Ariel settlement. IDF troops shoot and injure 2 Palestinian amid clashes sparked by a patrol near Nablus; arrest 8 Palestinians; issue 1 arrest summons during late-night raids in and around Ramallah, Nablus, Jericho, and Tubas; and patrol near Hebron and Nablus. Israeli forces order a Palestinian girls’ school near Nablus to close for the day after reports of stones thrown at an Israeli settler’s car earlier that day. (HA, JP, MNA, TOI, WAFA 4/3; PCHR 4/5)

Organizers of the ongoing Great March of Return, which commenced with a 30,000- strong protest in Gaza on 3/30, say that preparations are underway for renewed protests this week. “We welcome all participants of all factions, and appreciate their work for the success of this action that embarrassed Israel throughout the world,” they write, also calling on participants not to approach the border fence, for fear of giving Israeli troops an excuse to open fire. (HA 4/3; HA 4/4)

Israeli PM Netanyahu and U.S. president Trump speak briefly by phone in the evening. According to a White House statement, they discussed “recent developments in the Middle East,” and Trump “reiterated the commitment of the U.S. to Israel’s security.” Two White House officials describe the call as “tense” because of Netanyahu’s concerns about the reported U.S. plans to withdraw from Syria. (TOI 4/4; HA 4/6)