Fragile Calm on Gaza Border Follows Violent Weekend

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1 Apr 2019 (All day)
Fragile Calm on Gaza Border Follows Violent Weekend
A fragile calm had returned to the Gaza border region of southern Israel Monday morning following a weekend which saw smaller than expected riots to mark the one-year anniversary of the so-called “March of Return” by Palestinian residents of the Hamas-ruled territory. Rocket alerts were also heard in some Gaza-border communities but the rockets ended up landing in empty fields or inside Gaza territory with no reports of damage or casualties. Hamas issued a statement Sunday saying it was waiting to hear from Egyptian officials before making a decision about a long-term truce with Israel. Despite Hamas’ position, Israel reopened the Kerem Shalom crossing for commercial goods and the Erez crossing for pedestrian traffic on Sunday, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying, “I have ordered that IDF forces remain fully deployed around the Gaza Strip. This includes tanks, artillery, ground forces and air forces. We are prepared for any scenario and – if need be – an extensive campaign. We will do what needs to be done for the security of Israel.”

A Hamas spokesman said that weekly protests would continue despite a possible military truce. However, a statement by the Palestinian Authority was critical of Hamas for committing to a “truce agreement without national consensus” which the PA warned was setting the stage for further developments that the PA doesn’t believe would be beneficial to the Palestinian cause.

Here is a video about the recent developments in Gaza



Meanwhile, PA President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the Arab League Summit in Tunisia Sunday, telling the assembled delegates that "What is coming from the US is more dangerous and serious. The US will tell Israel, annex part of the Palestinian lands and grant self-rule to what's left of the land, and give the Gaza Strip a state so that Hamas can play there. The US administration's decision is to destroy the Arab Peace Plan and constitutes a dramatic change from the positions of previous US administrations.”

The Summit issued a statement on Sunday condemning the recognition by US President Donald Trump of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and declared their intention to demand a UN Security Council resolution against it.

Biblical-Era Seal Discovered in City of David
The City of David archaeological park in Jerusalem announced on Sunday that a 2,600-year-old seal from the Kingdom of Judah bearing the inscription “(belonging) to Nathan-Melech, Servant of the King” was recently unearthed at the site. “Although it is not possible to determine with complete certainty that the Nathan-Melech who is mentioned in the Bible was in fact the owner of the stamp, it is impossible to ignore some of the details that link them together,” said Dr. Anat Mendel-Geberovich of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who deciphered the inscription on the seal.

Here is a video about the seal



Elections in Turkey Deal Defeat to Erdogan
Municipal elections in Turkey on Sunday have apparently dealt a serious defeat to the ruling AKP faction led by President Reccep Tayyip Erdogan. Analysts blamed a slumping economy for the result while Erdogan’s political opponents blamed his increasingly autocratic rule for turning off voters. 

Iran Declares National Emergency Amidst Epic Flooding
Iran’s military has declared a national emergency in the country following a week of devastating floods which have affected 25 of the Islamic Republic’s 31 provinces, causing multiple deaths and injuries and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. Forecasts are projecting more rain this week in some of the worst hit areas, with little hope of relief before next week. Meanwhile, widespread anger at the government’s response to the disaster has left some analysts warning of a new wave of protests and unrest once the floodwaters have receded.

US and Israel Wrap Up Joint Defence Drills
The IDF announced on Monday that it has wrapped up a month of joint exercises with US troops to test procedures for a deployment and use of the Terminal High-Altitude Air Defence (THAAD) system. "The IDF cooperates with American forces in order to enable coordination and improve the operational capabilities necessary for defending the skies of Israel,” the IDF said. “The deployment is another step in strengthening the long-term relationship between the two countries and strengthens the close cooperation between them.”

 

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