Summary of Recent Escalation Along the Gaza Strip Border

Since mid-September 2018 Hamas has raised the level of its anti-Israel violence. It increased the number of riots and propaganda demonstrations along the border and their accompany violence. Events peaked during the "return marches" on Friday September 21 and 28, 2018, attended on both days by up to 20,000 Gazans.

Senior Palestinian figures, including clerics, call for boycotting the municipal elections in Jerusalem

On October 30, 2018, the municipal elections in Jerusalem are to take place. There are about 200,000 residents in the city having the right to vote for the municipality, who since 1967 have boycotted the local elections. Senior Palestinian figures, including clerics, are trying to prevent the residents’ participation in the elections

In an audiotape distributed on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri calls on Muslims to adhere to jihad against the United States on different fronts worldwide

On September 11, 2018, the Al-Sahab Foundation, Al-Qaeda’s media arm, released a 30-minute audiotape commemorating the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The audiotape, entitled “How should we confront America?” describes the United States as the main enemy of Muslims all over the world and specifies the different fronts where the United States fights against the Muslims, allegedly from religious motives.

Further proof of the “dual identity” of operatives in the Gaza Strip security services

On September 5, 2018, the Hamas-controlled Interior Ministry in the Gaza Strip issued an announcement on the death of Muqaddam (Lieutenant Colonel) Abdel Rahim Ahmad Ahmad Abbas (Abu Abbas). He had served as chief of Security and Operations in the Bomb Disposal General Department of the Palestinian Police. Concurrently with the announcement of the Interior Ministry, the Hamas military wing published a death notice of its own on Abdel Rahim Abbas’s death, noting that he had served as a Hamas military wing field commander.

The “Return March” and propaganda events in the Gaza Strip

Like every Friday (since March 30, 2018), the “return march” took place on Friday, September 7, 2018. Events on the recent march were more violent than those of recent weeks. Several thousand rioters, operating in several locations along the security fence, participated in the march. The Supreme National Authority of the Return March called on the public to participate in the next march on Friday In addition, the Supreme National Authority announced its intention to expand the protest activities

Violent power struggles in the Euphrates Valley between rival militias affiliated with Iran and the Syrian regime

In August 2018, several cities in the Euphrates Valley witnessed violent clashes between the Syrian army and Syrian militias affiliated with it on the one hand, and Shiite militias handled by Iran on the other. The clashes took place in the region between Albukamal and Deir ez-Zor, and both sides sustained dozens of casualties.

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