News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (October 7 – 23, 2019)

The return marches in the Gaza Strip held on October 11 and 18, 2019, were characterized by varying levels of violence. A delegation of senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) figures headed by its leader Ziyad al-Nakhalah paid a visit to Egypt and met with senior officials in Egyptian General Intelligence. In Judea and Samaria there was an attempted vehicular attack of Israeli security forces operating in the al-Am'ari refugee camp (near Ramallah). The contradictory reactions of Hamas and the PIJ to the Turkish invasion of Syria illustrates their different orientations.

Turkey’s Invasion of Syria and Its Influence on ISIS

On October 9, 2019, the Turkish army launched a broad military operation in northeastern Syria (called "Peace Spring"). Its stated objective is to establish a "safe zone" in Syria, 18-22 miles deep by 250 miles wide from the Euphrates River to the Syria-Iraq border.

Spotlight on Iran (October 6, 2019 – October 20, 2019)

Iran condemned the Turkish invasion of northern Syria and demanded that Turkey halt the operation. Iranian officials and media have been presenting the wave of protests that rocked Iraq in early October as a sign of a “Western plot” and blamed the United States, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Western media for fanning the flames of the protests. In mid-October, over three million Iranian pilgrims arrived in Iraq to mark the ‘Arbaeen holy day, which marks the end of the 40 mourning days of the death of the Shia Imam Hussein (marked on the ‘Ashoura holy day).

New designations recently published by the US Department of State and Department of the Treasury reveal Turkey’s central role as a hub from which Hamas handles its financial matters, including funding terrorist networks in Judea and Samaria

In the designations published by the US Department of the Treasury, Turkey occupies a prominent place as a hub in which and from which terrorist organizations, including Hamas, run their financial activities. According to the American report, Hamas operatives and facilitators in Turkey are engaged in fundraising and money transfer to Hamas’s military wing in the Gaza Strip, funding terrorist networks in Judea and Samaria, and operating currency exchange and wire transfer companies in Turkey, which launder terror funds

Spotlight on Iran (September 8, 2019 – September 22, 2019)

On September 16, the fifth round of talks between the presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey concerning Syria’s future was held in Ankara. Dozens of Iranian companies participated in the fifth Damascus International Fair on reconstruction of the country, which was held in the Syrian capital in mid-September. Following attacks attributed to Israel against targets in western Iraq and ongoing escalation between Iran and the United States, Iran and the Shi’ite militias in Iraq are expanding their coordination. Iran rejected U.S. claims about its direct involvement is striking two oil facilities in Saudi Arabia on September 14. Despite the responsibility claim by the Houthi rebels in Yemen, the United States blamed Iran for the attack, which significantly disrupted Saudi Arabia’s oil output.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (September 5-11, 2019)

With the exception of several local shooting incidents, as at September 10, 2019, the unilateral ceasefire announced by the Syrian army in the Idlib area is being maintained. According to a report by the Turkish Ministry of Defense, as part of the first phase of the plan to establish the safe zone along the Syrian-Turkish border, joint patrols by US and Turkish army forces along the Syria-Turkey border have begun. ISIS’s terrorist and guerilla warfare activities continued in Syria and Iraq. ISIS’s provinces in Africa and Asia continued to carry out “routine” attacks. This week, attacks were reported in the Sinai Peninsula, Afghanistan, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Yemen.

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