Continuing deterioration of the security situation along the Gaza Strip border (updated to August 24, 2020)

This past week the deterioration of security along the Gaza border continued, initiated by Hamas: the launching of IED and incendiary balloons continued (causing dozens of fires daily), the IDF responded to balloon terrorism with aerial attacks and tank fire at Hamas facilities and posts, and Hamas and the other terrorist organizations responded to the IDF attacks with sporadic rocket fire (24 rockets have been fired since the beginning of August).

Despite Covid-19, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) held its annual summer camps, where Palestinian youths acquire paramilitary skills

This summer the mobilization unit of the PIJ's military wing held its annual summer camps for youths in the Gaza Strip, despite dealing with the fight against coronavirus infection. This year the camps were called the "al-amin ("the secretary") camps," in memory of Ramadan Abdallah Shalah, the PIJ secretary general who died on June 6, 2020. According to a report, the youths acquired paramilitary skills and heard lectures on security and "educational" topics.

Deterioration of the security situation along the Gaza Strip border (updated to August 17, 2020)

At the beginning of August 2020, after about six months of relative quiet, Hamas initiated a wave of violence from the Gaza Strip, renewing the use of its strategy of controlled violence against Israel. So far, the current wave of violence focuses mainly on the daily launching of IED and incendiary balloons. During the nights of August 15 and 16, 2020 the balloon launchings were accompanied by riots at the border fence. Balloon terrorism and the riots were waged by designated units of Hamas and the other terrorist organizations specializing in such patterns of violent activity.

Hezbollah’s response to the Beirut disaster (updated to August 9, 2020)

Following the explosion in Beirut (August 4, 2020), Hezbollah launched a media campaign centered on denying any connection to the explosion. Thus, Hezbollah (unusually) refrained from blaming Israel for the explosion because this might have strengthened the allegation that Hezbollah had chemicals or weapons at the port. Hezbollah has blamed senior figures in Lebanese governments since 2014 for the disaster. Hezbollah has demanded an internal Lebanese investigation, on the assumption that it would have control over the results, and has vehemently opposed an international investigation.

The Spread of COVID-19 in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip (Updated to August 10, 2020)

In the Palestinian Authority (PA) territories the trend towards flattening the COVID-19 curve continued. This past week 1,917 new cases were detected (similar to last week). According to the PA ministry of health, there are currently 6,153 active COVID-19 cases (as of August 9, 2020); 4,095 in the Hebron district, about 66% of the total number. Of the active cases, 14 patients are in ICUs and three are on ventilators. As of August 10, 2020, there have been 99 deaths, up from 87 last week. The total number of Palestinians infected with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic is 14,127, up from 12,210 last week

COVID-19 Infection in the East Jerusalem Neighborhoods: The exceptional case of Kafr ‘Aqab

Kafr 'Aqab is a large neighborhood northeast of Jerusalem on the Palestinian side of the Israeli security fence. The neighborhood belongs to the municipal territory of Jerusalem, and most of its inhabitants have the status of permanent residents of the State of Israel. About 40,000 of its inhabitants work in Israel in the Jerusalem neighborhoods on the Israeli side west of the security fence. Some work in the PA territories in the Ramallah region.

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