Photo by Mark Philbrick
Photo by Mark Philbrick
Monday, November 12, 2018
The heightened tensions described in our September 10 security notice have boiled over and there has been a substantial increase in violence in Gaza and the southern part of Israel over the past two days. The current round of violence started yesterday with the assassination of a Hamas leader inside of Gaza by a team of Israelis during which a commander of the Israeli team was also killed. To cover the team's withdrawal from Gaza, Israeli jets bombed parts of Gaza yesterday. Today, Hamas retaliated with rocket attacks on cities in southern Israel and the latest reports indicate that Israeli jets are now bombing sites inside of Gaza.
Its unclear at this point whether this is a short-term flare up or the start of a longer period of tit-for-tat violence. As of today, no rockets have been sent toward Ben Gurion Airport or western Jerusalem. As emphasized in the September 10 security notice, the Center has been through heightened tensions and periods of greater violence in Gaza and southern Israel before, and beyond reminding students and Center personnel of some simple security precautions, no additional security measures will be taken at this time and we do not anticipate any changes in the Center's field trip program or other activities. The area around the Center, and Jerusalem more generally, are quiet and there are no elevated risks in these areas.
Monday, September 10, 2018
Rosh Hashanah, which started Sunday evening, September 9, and extends through Tuesday evening September 11 is the first of several important Jewish holidays that extend through the month of September and into early October. During the last two years, there has been a spike in clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem and elsewhere in the West Bank and Israel during this period of high Jewish holidays. While this year could be different, we are expecting a pattern similar to the last two years and, as a consequence, expect that over the next several weeks, international news media will be giving more attention to incidents in Israel, the West Bank and the border between Gaza and Israel. These clashes have never created problems for students or other personnel at the Jerusalem Center in the past and we do not expect any problems this year. They do, however, “make the news” and elevate risks some. The Center has successfully managed these risks throughout its history. We will provide additional information on this website if there are any unusual incidents this year.