Hamas

Another round of escalation in the Gaza Strip, more intensive and severe than the previous ones

On May 4, 2019, another round of escalation from the Gaza Strip began, the eighth since the return marches began on March 30, 2018. It has not yet ended. It began when Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) snipers attacked IDF soldiers under the cover of the return march on May 3, 2019. The IDF responded by attacking two Hamas targets, killing two of its terrorist operatives. The following day a massive barrage of rocket and mortar fire began attacking the Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip, and it expanded to attack Israeli civilian targets at a range of more than 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Gaza Strip. The attack included the southern Israeli cities of Ashqelon, Ashdod, Qiryat Gat, Qiryat Malachi and Beersheba.
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Spotlight on Iran (April 18 – May 5, 2019)

Negotiations continue between Iran and Russia concerning the settlement of the war in Syria. Iran is keeping up with its efforts to secure its interests in Iraq. A delegation of the Iranian-Palestinian parliamentary friendship caucus visited Lebanon and Syria and met with senior officials in both countries, as well as the deputy secretary general of Hezbollah, the secretary general of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau
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Nature and Functioning of the Supreme National Authority of the Return Marches and Lifting the Siege

A year has passed since the return march project began. Preparations for the project began in early 2018 as an initiative of social activists and organizations operating in the Gaza Strip. In the early stages, when the idea was being formulated, the organizers of the march claimed that the events would not be of a political nature, that official representatives of the various organizations would not participate, and that there would be no violence
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (April 9– April 16, 2019)

This past week the level of violence demonstrated at the return march was again relatively low (about 7,500 people participated in the march events). Hamas spokesman Husam Badran said the understandings reached meant an improvement in the standard of living in the Gaza Strip. The Hamas-operated Night Harassment Units said they intended to renew their activities with greater intensity. On April 15, 2019, an agreement was reached to end the hunger strike of the Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (April 3– April 8, 2019)

This past week events focused on the Friday return march, attended by about 10,000 Palestinians. The level of violence demonstrated was relatively low. This past week senior Hamas figures often made references to the understandings achieved through Egyptian mediation for an arrangement. The security prisoners in Israeli jails announced that they would begin a hunger strike on April 7, 2019.
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Spotlight on Iran (March 24, 2019 – April 7, 2019)

Syrian opposition sources reported that at least seven people were killed in the strike attributed to Israel in the Sheikh Najjar area in northwestern Aleppo city, on the night of March 27-28. Senior Iranian officials condemned the decision of President Trump to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights and described it as a grave violation of international law. The Syrian government approved the agreement signed between the Syrian Electricity Ministry and the Iranian energy and infrastructure giant, MAPNA, to build a power plant in Lattakia. The Deputy Head of Hamas’ Political Bureau, Salah al-Arouri, declared in a media interview that Hamas is determined to bolster ties with Iran, and that the practical implications of this improvement in relations is already evident on the ground.
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