Tracking the escalation in tensions from the terror attack in Beersheva in March to the latest round of rocket attacks from Gaza.
Beginning in March, Israel was struck by a series of terror attacks. These attacks, in the cities of Beersheva, Hadera, Bnei Brak and Tel Aviv, took 14 innocent Jewish, Arab and Christian lives. During counter-terror operations and arrest raids in the weeks that followed, over two dozen Palestinians were killed, nearly all of them in the act of attacking Israelis.
Stone throwing by Palestinian rioters on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount led to violent clashes between the rioters and Israeli police officers. Ramadan prayers at the Al Aqsa Mosque, though, were attended by many thousands of peaceful Muslim worshippers and passed without incident.
In recent days, Palestinian rocket fire from the Gaza Strip have escalated tensions and threatened to ignite fighting between Israel and the Hamas terror organization that rules the Gaza Strip.
The following timeline covers the major incidents of the terror wave and subsequent tensions:
- March 22: An Arab attacker kills four Israelis in a terror attack in the city of Beersheva. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) praise the attack.
- March 27: Two Arab gunmen attack Israelis in Hadera, killing two police officers. Hamas and PIJ praise the terror attack.
- March 29: A Palestinian from near the West Bank city of Jenin goes on a terror rampage in Bnei Brak, Israel, killing three Israelis and two Ukrainians.
- The Associated Press reports that “Israel in recent weeks has been taking steps aimed at calming tensions and avoiding a repeat of last year,” and notes that “the new wave of violence is greatly complicating those efforts.”
- March 31: Israel raids the Jenin refugee camp to make arrests and two Palestinians are killed during a gun battle between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers.
A Palestinian stabs an Israeli civilian on a bus and is killed by a bystander.
- April 1: 30,000 Muslims pray without incident on the Temple Mount and in the Al Aqsa Mosque on the first evening of Ramadan.
A Palestinian Hamas operative is killed in Hebron after throwing a firebomb at Israeli soldiers.
- April 2: Police officers come under fire during an arrest operation by Israeli counter-terror police near Jenin, and three Palestinian members of PIJ are killed in the ensuing gunfight.
- April 3: Clashes between Palestinian rioters and Israeli police outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls result in several arrests.
- April 4: Clashes between Palestinian rioters and Israeli police outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls result in several arrests.
- April 5: Despite recent terror attacks, Israel announces it will permit additional West Bank Palestinians to enter Jerusalem for prayer at the Al Aqsa Mosque.
- April 7: A Palestinian terrorist from Jenin opens fire at Tel Aviv bar, killing three Israelis and bringing the terror death toll to 14.
- April 8: The terrorist responsible for the Tel Aviv attack is killed during a shootout with Israeli police.
- April 9: An Israeli counter-terror unit in Jenin is attacked by Palestinian gunmen. One Palestinian militant is killed in the ensuing gunfight.
- April 10: A Palestinian assailant is killed after stabbing an Israeli police officer in Hebron.
- A Palestinian gunman who opened fire on Israeli forces in Jenin is killed.
- An unarmed Palestinian is shot in the legs as she runs toward soldiers at an Israeli checkpoint. She later dies from her injuries.
- Palestinian rioters vandalize Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus/Shechem.
- April 11: A Palestinian who threw a firebomb at an Israeli car is killed by Israeli soldiers.
- Two Hassidic Jews trying to access Joseph’s Tomb are shot, presumably by Palestinian assailants.
- April 12: After stabbing an Israeli police officer in the Israeli city of Ashkelon, a Palestinian from Hebron is shot and killed.
- Hamas incites Palestinians by falsely claiming Israel gave permission for Jewish extremists to sacrifice a goat on the Temple Mount.
- April 13: A Palestinian is killed during clashes in the West Bank town of Beita. Palestinian officials later say he was killed while inadvertently driving through the area of the clashes.
- Another two Palestinians are killed in clashes with Israeli troops.
- April 14: Two Palestinians are killed in the West Bank after firing on security forces. The Associated Press reports that at least “24 Palestinians have been killed in the latest wave of violence … most after carrying out deadly attacks or in clashes with Israeli security forces.”
- Hamas calls on Palestinians to “mobilize on the yards of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday, April 15, to protect it from the colonial settler extremist groups’ storming of Al-Aqsa and to thwart their plans to desecrate Al-Aqsa Mosque in the so-called ‘slaughtering sacrifices.’”
- April 15: Israeli police clash with Palestinian rioters on the Temple Mount. Palestinian threw rocks at Israeli police officers, who then entered the Temple Mount to arrest the attackers. Palestinians shoot fireworks and throw stones at the police. After Israeli troops clear the area of rioters, tens of thousands of Muslims worshippers attend prayers without incident.
- April 17: Clashes renew on the Temple Mount after Israeli police enter the compound “in order to keep out Palestinians who gathered stones and put up improvised barriers in an effort to block Jewish visitors,” Haaretz reports.
- April 18: A rocket is fired into Israel from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Overnight, Israel responds with airstrikes on Hamas military sites.
- April 20: A second rocket is fired from Gaza into Israel. (JNS.org)
This article was first published by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis.