The 6th Palestinian BDS Campaign Conference, Held in al-Bireh: The decisions and their significance

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) held its sixth conference in al-Bireh (Ramallah) on March 16, 2019. Present were Palestinian BDS campaign activists; representatives from the PLO, Fatah and the National Initiative Movement (a leftist Palestinian organization headed by Mustafa Barghouti), and other representatives. Workshops were held at the conference dealing with various aspects of the BDS campaign.

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.

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.

Another Round of Escalation Following Hamas Rocket Fire at Central Israel

On March 25-26, 2019, there was another round of escalation, the seventh since the "return marches" began on March 30, 2018. It began after a rocket fired by Hamas (which claimed it was fired "by mistake") hit a house in a community north of Tel Aviv (seven people injured). The IDF responded by attacking dozens of targets in the northern and central Gaza Strip, including significant targets. Hamas and the other terrorist organizations fired about 70 rockets and mortar shells at the Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip.

The Battle for Hearts and Minds Media instructions posted to a Hamas forum during the most recent round of escalation

Instructions were posted to a Hamas forum regarding the terminology that should be used in the media. According to the instructions, media workers should avoid the use of terminology that indicates a recognition of the existence of Israel (the "Zionist entity"); care should taken to designate all sites attacked by Israel as "civilian targets" and not as military targets; the cities in Israel which are attacked should be referred to as occupied Palestinian territories, and not as cities; and there is no such thing as "the residents of Israel's south" because [the Israelis] are thieves who took the Palestinian lands by force.

Has ISIS Been Defeated? Overview and possible developments after the fall of ISIS’s enclave in the lower Euphrates Valley

On March 23, 2019 the SDF Kurdish forces announced that they had destroyed the ISIS forces and brought to an end their control over the last pocket in the village of al-Baghuz. Thus the campaign waged by the SDF and their American and coalition supporters ended, after more than six months of battle.

Previous years bulletins