This past week events focused on another round of escalation. It began following a rocket fired by Hamas (which claimed it had been launched by mistake), that hit a house in a community north of Tel Aviv (seven injured). The IDF responded by attacking dozens of targets in the northern and central Gaza Strip. Hamas then attacked the Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip with rocket and mortar fire. The round ended, possibly due to Egyptian pressure causing a unilateral ceasefire of Hamas and the other terrorist organizations.
The rocket launch and the subsequent round of escalation climaxed the events this past week, during which the level of violence from the Gaza Strip was particularly high. The Night Harassment Units operated every night and threw IEDs at IDF soldiers. Many IED balloons were launched, some of which landed in Israel. The March 22, 2019, “return march” was attended by about 9,500 Palestinians, and was accompanied by a particularly high the level of violence. IDF forces responded to the violence with artillery fire and Israeli Air Force aircraft attacks. The next date for a rise in violence is this coming Saturday, March 30, 2019, the first anniversary of the “return marches” and Palestinian Land Day (ten days before Israel’s general elections.)