Security Updates

Monday, March 25, 2019

A rocket launched from Gaza hit a home north of Tel Aviv this morning (Israel time), injuring seven people, but none seriously.  Prime Minister Netanyahu cut short a visit to Washington, D.C. and returned to Israel to "oversee the response."  He also put reservists on notice of a call up.  Most analysts attribute both actions, which have brought additional international media attention to the attack, to the upcoming election in Israel and the need for Netanyahu to appear decisive.  As a consequence, a substantial retaliation by the Israel Defense Forces is almost certain and Gaza-centered violence is likely to continue for a while. 

The students have been in the Galilee for the past week and will return to the Center later this week.  Jerusalem is quiet and peaceful and is expected to remain so with the upcoming Latin and Orthodox Easter celebrations during which the city will be packed with pilgrims and tourists.  Center field trips to the south and west of Jerusalem were completed earlier in the semester and remaining field trips are all within the vicinity of Jerusalem.  At this point, we do not anticipate restrictions on student travel beyond what is normally in place.



Friday, March 15, 2019

Last night (March 14), militants in Gaza fired rockets toward Tel Aviv, which were intercepted by Israel's antimissile defense system.  Overnight, Israel defense forces retaliated by bombing targets in Gaza. Militants fired several additional rockets this morning.  Tensions are high in the areas near the Gaza Strip, but neither side has an interest in a dramatic escalation so it is expected that this flare up will end within the next few days. 

Jerusalem is peaceful and quiet and the Center's programs are not affected by the problems in and around Gaza. The Jerusalem marathon, which was scheduled for today, was held as planned. Some of the students ran in the shorter 5 K race. All will be back at the Center for lunch and classes this afternoon and evening and will be at the Center for the Sabbath tomorrow. Students  and faculty leave for the Galilee for 10 days early Monday morning.