General Information

Another round of escalation in the Gaza Strip, more intensive and severe than the previous ones

On May 4, 2019, another round of escalation from the Gaza Strip began, the eighth since the return marches began on March 30, 2018. It has not yet ended. It began when Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) snipers attacked IDF soldiers under the cover of the return march on May 3, 2019. The IDF responded by attacking two Hamas targets, killing two of its terrorist operatives. The following day a massive barrage of rocket and mortar fire began attacking the Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip, and it expanded to attack Israeli civilian targets at a range of more than 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Gaza Strip. The attack included the southern Israeli cities of Ashqelon, Ashdod, Qiryat Gat, Qiryat Malachi and Beersheba.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (April 17– April 30, 2019)

In the Gaza Strip, 6,000 to 7,000 Palestinians participated in the Friday return marches of April 19 and 26, gathering at the five usual sites. The level of violence continued to be relatively low. On April 28, 2019, a rocket was launched from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory. Senior Hamas figures continued to threaten Israel with a renewal of violence if Israel did not implement the understandings reached. In Judea and Samaria, a stabbing attack targeting Border Police fighter was prevented.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (April 9– April 16, 2019)

This past week the level of violence demonstrated at the return march was again relatively low (about 7,500 people participated in the march events). Hamas spokesman Husam Badran said the understandings reached meant an improvement in the standard of living in the Gaza Strip. The Hamas-operated Night Harassment Units said they intended to renew their activities with greater intensity. On April 15, 2019, an agreement was reached to end the hunger strike of the Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (April 3– April 8, 2019)

This past week events focused on the Friday return march, attended by about 10,000 Palestinians. The level of violence demonstrated was relatively low. This past week senior Hamas figures often made references to the understandings achieved through Egyptian mediation for an arrangement. The security prisoners in Israeli jails announced that they would begin a hunger strike on April 7, 2019.
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Return march events marking the first anniversary of the marches and Israeli Arab Land Day

On Saturday, March 30, 2019, a return march was held to mark the first anniversary of the marches and the Israeli Arab Land Day. The event was expected to climax a year of marches, and extensive preparations were made for it. Before the events, Hamas and the organizers made efforts to enlist a large number of participants to demonstrate popular support. The background to the recent escalation in the Gaza Strip was rocket fire targeting central Israel; the deployment of large IDF forces near the border; the presence of the Egyptian mediators' delegation in the Gaza Strip.
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Preparations for the mass “return march” to mark the first anniversary of the marches and Land Day

With the escalation that followed the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip in the background, preparations continue to be made for the "return march" that will take place on Saturday, March 30, 2019. The events will mark oneyear of "return marches" as well as Land Day, affiliated with Israeli Arabs. A series of events are planned, which will be held at the usual five sites of the "return marches." The events will be accompanied by a general strike and closed schools to increase the number of participants.
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