As of 9:30 am Friday morning, seven Palestinians were killed and some 500 were wounded by Israeli rubber bullets and live fire in the Gaza Strip, according to Hamas, in clashes between IDF troops and Palestinian rioters along Israel-Gaza border. All crossings to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip will be closed to Palestinians during Passover. The closure takes on greater significance this year as an estimated 20,000 thousands Gazan protesters converged on the border to mark Land Day. The demonstration is set to continue until May 15 when Palestinians mark Nakba (Catastrophe) Day and the founding of the State of Israel. For live updates on the developing situation, click here.
The US Congress has dramatically increased its budget for Israeli missile defense programs by $148 million. According to Israel’s Defense Ministry, the increase of funding was requested for production of the Iron Dome, David’s Sling-and Arrow, 3-missile defense systems.