Egypt

Spotlight on Global Jihad (January 3-9, 2019)

Following is an overview of the situation on the ground in Syria, against the backdrop of President Trump’s announcement of the pullback of US military personnel: In the enclave controlled by ISIS on the east bank of the Euphrates River, fierce fighting continues between ISIS and the SDF forces (with US and Coalition air support). The city of Hajin, ISIS’s stronghold, has not yet been mopped up, and fighting is still ongoing there. Fighting also continued in the town of Al-Sha'fah, north of Albukamal. According to reports, the SDF forces took over half of the town and the fighting was still ongoing.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (January 2 – 8, 2019)

This past week there was an increase in the level of violence from the Gaza Strip. The increase in tension on the ground was accompanied by Hamas complaints about the freezing of the third payment of money from Qatar and threats that if the funds did not reach the Gaza Strip by the end of the week they would gradually return to activity on the Israel border. Meanwhile, tensions between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) reached a new high
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (December 27, 2018 – January 2, 2019)

Around two weeks after President Trump announced the pull-out of the American soldiers from Syria, the attention of the key players in the Syrian arena was diverted to eastern and northern Syria/ In the city of Hajin and its environs, the SDF campaign against ISIS continues. The Kurdish-controlled city of Manbij, is attracting considerable political and military attention in the wake of the Trump statement. In the Idlib area, incidents between the Syrian army and jihadi organizations continue. According to Arab media, the Americans have begun to evacuate their soldiers from Syria to the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (November 28 – December 4, 2018)

On December 4, 2018, Operation Northern Shield began along Israel's border with Lebanon. Its objective is to expose and neutralize Hezbollah terrorist attack tunnels penetrating from Lebanon into Israeli territory. This past week a "return march" and a mini-flotilla were held along the Gaza-Israeli border without exceptional violence towards the IDF. The United States has proposed a UN resolution condemning Hamas and other terrorist organizations for rocket fire at Israel, and using resources meant for the population for their military buildup.
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Summary of Events on the Gaza Strip Border

The Friday "return march" of November 16, 2018, was held under the shadow of the ceasefire that ended the most recent round of escalation. The events were attended by senior figures from Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and other organizations. Senior Hamas figures and the organizers of the "return marches" said they were committed to obeying the Egyptian demand to distance the marchers from the security fence and stop the incendiary kites and balloons.
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Summary of Events Along the Gaza Strip Border

On Friday, November 9, 2018, another "return march" was held in the Gaza Strip along the border with Israel. About 10,000 Palestinians participated in the Friday march. There has been a decrease in the level of violence, apparently because this week as well Hamas kept demonstrators away from the security fence. Thus in the current situation, Israel enables fuel and money from Qatar to enter the Gaza Strip in return for a decrease in Hamas-sponsored violence, but not a complete cessation of violence. In ITIC assessment, as long as the "return marches" do not stop, there will be a fragile reduction in the violence from the Gaza Strip, occasionally accompanied by outbreaks of more serious violence.
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