U.S. officials conveyed to Defense Minister Benny Gantz that they expected Israel to avoid moves that could further escalate tensions, and especially what they call “far-right provocations.” The warning related to the “March of Flags”, which is scheduled to take place in the Old City of Jerusalem on Tuesday. The march has been postponed from its usual date, on Jerusalem Day, because of fear of igniting Arab violence. Last night Jewish and Arab protestors faced off near the Damascus Gate. Five people were arrested for disturbing the peace.
Israel has reportedly asked Egypt to halt the entry of cement and other construction materials into Gaza, to prevent Hamas from using them to create weapons. Israel also reportedly told Egypt that it has no opposition to Egyptian engineering teams entering Gaza helping to clear debris left by IDF airstrikes, but did not want them to repair the subterranean tunnels used by Hamas and other armed Palestinian factions.
During an undercover IDF raid into Palestinian Authority controlled Jenin on Thursday to arrest terror suspects, Palestinian police officers fired on the Israeli forces, even after the force identified itself as IDF. The IDF force fired back, killing the 2 Palestinian policemen. One Islamic Jihad terrorist was also killed and another suspect apprehended.
Last night the IDF arrested a terrorist trying to cross into Israel from Gaza. He was carrying an improvised explosive device, grenade and two knives.
The new government is expected to be approved and sworn in on Sunday.