Israel Defense Forces: March 2012

March 2012 was an intense month for the IDF. From the escalation at its start to Land Day at the end, IDF forces were called to confront many security threats on all fronts.

March 9: In a span of several days, Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired more than 200 rockets into Israel. Many of these rockets struck major Israeli population centers, such as Ashdod (pop. 200,000), Beersheba (pop. 190,000) and Ashkelon (pop. 110,000). Even today, more than one million Israelis continue to live under the threat of rocket attacks from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

March 10: Abu Mujahid, spokesman of the Popular Resistance Committees in Gaza, admitted on Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV that Hamas allows his terrorist group complete freedom of action in the Gaza Strip.

March 12: Two photos posted on Twitter that both allegedly depicted the results of Israeli air strikes in Gaza during the escalation were proven false.

March 13: Amidst the fighting, a Palestinian teen from the Gaza Strip was evacuated to an Israeli hospital for treatment.

March 15: Following the end of the escalation, an IDF soldier was stabbed while she was traveling to her base in Jerusalem. She received first aid at the scene of the attack and was then evacuated to a hospital for further treatment. On that same day, IDF soldiers prevented an infiltration attempt on the Israel-Egypt border.

March 16: The IDF Chief of General Staff, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz, concluded his official visit to Canada.

Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz meets with his Canadian counterpart, General Walt Natynczyk

March 26: During an IDF patrol along the Gaza Strip security fence, IDF sappers defused an explosive device.

March 30: Protesters gathered across Judea and Samaria to mark Palestinian Land Day. The demonstrators quickly turned violent, hurling rocks, firebombs, and setting fire to tires.

The events were part of the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ), an effort by Arabs and international activists to reach Jerusalem and “steal it from the hands of the illegal Zionist occupation.” Organizers had hoped that millions of people in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Gaza would march to Israel’s borders, but only a small number turned out.

Ahmadinejad poses with members of the GMJ Asian Caravan at his Presidential palace in Tehran.

Ahmadinejad poses with members of the GMJ Asian Caravan at his Presidential palace in Tehran. Credit: CIF Watch