Israel and West Bank
A Palestinian stabbed an Israeli man to death on March 18 in the Old City of Jerusalem. Police shot and killed the attacker after pursuing him to the Lion’s Gate. The victim, Adiel Kolman, was taken to the hospital where he died of his wounds.
A Palestinian man rammed his car into a group of Israeli soldiers, killing two and injuring two more on March 16. The terror attack occurred as the soldiers were on duty securing routes near the settlement of Mevo Dotan close to the city of Jenin. The man, named as Alaa Rateb Aa-Latif Kabha, was apprehended and hospitalized for treatment. The Shin Bet reported that the attacker had spent time in prison for security offenses and was freed last year. Hamas released a statement praising the attack, however it did not take direct responsibility.
Israeli police arrested an employee of the French consulate in Jerusalem on March 18 for smuggling weapons from Gaza into Jerusalem. Romain Franck reportedly used his diplomatic immunity and consular vehicle, which goes through reduced security checks, to smuggle the nearly 70 guns and two assault rifles on behalf of Hamas.
Israel bombed and destroyed a Hamas tunnel in southern Gaza on March 18, also striking an underground military complex in central Gaza. According to the IDF, Hamas was trying to reconnect an old tunnel that had been destroyed to a new tunnel. This is the fourth such underground passage that Israel has destroyed since mid-October. An IDF spokesman reiterated a long-standing policy of holding Hamas “responsible for any act of hostility that emanates from Gaza.”
A roadside bomb detonated next to the convoy of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on March 13 during a trip to Gaza. No group has taken responsibility for the attack, however, Fatah officials blamed Hamas for the failed assassination attempt. Hamas, however, denied any role in the bombing, and said that it was an attempt to “strike any efforts to achieve unity and reconciliation.”
A member of the Islamic Jihad’s military wing died in an “accidental explosion” in Gaza on March 11. According to the Israeli Defense Ministry, the fighter died while “manufacturing weapons and ammunitions for Islamic Jihad in a house in the Sheikh Zayed neighborhood in Beit Lahiya.”
Israeli Defense Ministry inspectors thwarted a Hamas attempt to smuggle IDF uniforms into Gaza on March 13. Border police confiscated the items and the truck pending further investigation.
On March 19, Egyptian Security Forces announced that they have killed 36 and arrested 345 suspected militants in the Sinai Peninsula over the last five days. Last month the Egyptian Security Forces launched a renewed campaign to drive ISIS out of Sinai in response to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi giving them a three-month deadline. During the clash’s four Egyptian soldiers were killed, and eight were wounded.