March 31st 2013 in Briefings International Relations

The government of Israel was kept busy during the Jewish holiday of Passover this week, which coincided with “Land Day” protests by Palestinian activists, who were marking government-backed land confiscations that happened in 1976. The Israeli military is also on high alert along its northern borders with Lebanon and Syria, and the Israel Defence Forces fired into Syria and destroyed a machine-gun nest on March 24 after IDF soldiers patrolling in the Israeli Golan came under fire from the Syrian side of the border. On a positive note, reports indicate that natural gas production has commenced at Israel’s Tamar field, which could potentially turn the country into an important future energy exporter. (March 24, 2013 – Reuters; March 30, 2013 – Reuters; March 31, 2013 – Al-Jazeera)