COVID-19 numbers continue to surge in the Palestinian Authority, while the number of cases in the Gaza Strip remains low (Updated to July 20, 2020)

The surge in active COVID-19 cases in Judea and Samaria continues, part of the second wave of the disease. According to reports from the Palestinian ministry of health, there are 6,650 active cases, up from 5,121 a week ago. The ministry of health reported that ten patients are in the ICU and four are on ventilators (as of July 19, 2020). There are 4,810 active cases in the Hebron district, 73% of the overall number. Sixty-five Palestinians have died, most of them in the Hebron district (as of July 20, 2020). The number of cases in east Jerusalem has also spiked, with 1,332 active cases, up from 632 last week, and up from 160 at the beginning of July.

Increased violations of public health guidelines and protests against Palestinian Authority during the second coronavirus wave

Since early March the Palestinian Authority (PA) has struggled with the spread of coronavirus cases and the ensuing economic difficulties. The PA, which was satisfied with its response to the first wave of COVID-19, now finds itself unsuccessfully trying to halt the surge of new infections. In an attempt to halt the spread of the virus during the second wave the PA increased the severity of its preventive measures, both general and specific. Paradoxically, despite the surge in the number of active cases, seriously ill Palestinians and deaths, during the second wave there has been an increase in the violation of public health guidelines and preventive measures ordered by the prime minister and the public health system.

Jibril Rajoub and other senior Fatah figures represent the strategy of “popular resistance” [i.e., popular terrorism] as their main course of action if Israel announces annexation of territory

Senior Fatah figures have recently often represented the "popular resistance" [i.e., popular terrorism] as an important response to an Israeli annexation of territories. Senior Fatah figure Jibril Rajoub was interviewed by the Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese al-Mayadeen TV channel. According to Rajoub the "popular resistance" is carried out peacefully (a baseless allegation) and has gained international legitimacy.

The number of COVID-19 cases continue to spike upward throughout Judea and Samaria, compared with the low number in the Gaza Strip (Updated to July 13, 2020)

The numbers of active coronavirus cases continue to spike upwards in Judea and Samaria, part of the second wave of COVID-19. According to reports from the Palestinian Authority (PA) ministry of health, the number of active cases now stands at 5,121, up from 3,758 last week (updated to the evening of July 12, 2020). Of the active cases, 4,140 are in the Hebron district (3,150 a week ago), 81% of the total number of active cases in Judea and Samaria. There are 16 ICU patients, seven on ventilators.

Kataeb Hezbollah: Profile of a Shiite-Iraqi militia handled by the Qods Force to promote Iranian interests in Iraq (Full Version)

Kataeb Hezbollah (“Hezbollah Brigades”) is a radical Shiite militia of a clearly anti-American nature with a Khomeinist ideology. It was established by the Qods Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in 2007 in southern Iraq with the objective of fighting against the US army and ousting it from Iraq. It is the most prominent among the Shiite militias handled by Iran, prioritized in military and financial support from the IRGC’s Qods Force.

Iran faces growing Challenges in Iraq but is determined to further Its vital interests

Iraq was and remains a particularly important arena for Iran’s regional policies and national security concerns. Iran shares its longest and most strategic border with Iraq, which Iran considers to be its “backyard.” Since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, Tehran has worked to ensure that its neighbor to the east maintains its territorial integrity, under Shia dominance, and under Iran’s sway. Iran sees its involvement in Iraq as a vital tool for preserving its influence in the country.

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