Weekly Updates

Spotlight on Iran (June 28, 2020 – July 12, 2020)

The Iranian chief of staff of the armed forces and the Syrian minister of defense signed a comprehensive agreement concerning military cooperation between the two countries. The presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey discussed the settlement of the war in Syria at a video-teleconferenced summit. Iran issued only a tepid response to the raid carried out on June 25th by the Iraq’s Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) on the compound of the Shia pro-Iranian militia, Kataeb Hezbollah, in Baghdad. The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenai, sent a letter to the head of Hamas’ political bureau, Ismail Hanniyeh, in which he stressed Iran’s ongoing commitment to support the Palestinians.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (July 2-8, 2020)

The ceasefire is being maintained in the Idlib region of northern Syria, but high-intensity local incidents continue between the warring sides. The Iraq Province continues to be the most active of ISIS’s provinces (mainly in the form of activating IEDs, launching rockets, and targeted killings). In the Sinai Peninsula, ISIS continued its intensive activity against the Egyptian army and the forces supporting it (activating IEDs, attacking a militia that supports the Egyptian army). In ISIS’s other provinces in Africa and Asia, “routine” military activity continues (Nigeria, Congo, Somalia, Pakistan, India and the Philippines).

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (July 1 – 7, 2020)

There was an increase in tension on Israel's southern border this past week when three rockets were launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip. Protests against Israel's intention to annex parts of Judea and Samaria continued, culminating in a "day of rage" in Gaza and demonstrations (not attended as well as expected) in Judea and Samaria. Jibril Rajoub, secretary of Fatah's Executive Committee, and Saleh al-'Arouri, deputy head of Hamas' political bureau, held an exceptional (virtual) joint press conference. In the meantime, most of the PA's attention and efforts are focused on dealing with the spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in Judea and Samaria.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (June 25 – July 1, 2020)

The ceasefire is being maintained in the Idlib region of northern Syria, but there has been an increase in the number of local incidents between the warring sides. The Iraq Province continues to be ISIS’s most active province, but there has also been a resurgence in the activity of the Syria Province. According to a report in the newspaper Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, a joint military operation against ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula carried out by the Egyptian army and Bedouin tribesmen failed.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (June 24 – 30, 2020)

The situation in the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria heated up this past week. Two rockets were launched at Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip. In Judea and Samaria the number active COVID-19 cases continues to spike, and reached 1,924 (as of June 30, 2020), most of them in the Hebron district. As July 1 approaches, the date on which Israeli law will be imposed on parts of Judea and Samaria, the volume of threats from Hamas and the other terrorist organizations is increasing. In the Gaza Strip preparations are being made for "popular activities" as part of a "day of rage" on July 1, 2020. The Palestinian Authority (PA) continues its diplomatic activity in the international arena to deter Israel from implementing its annexation intentions.

Spotlight on Iran (June 14, 2020 – June 28, 2020)

An Iranian news website published an article discussing the changing patterns of activity of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) following the assassination of Qasem Soleimani. The Iranian news agency Tasnim reported that the Commander of the IRGC's Qods Force, Esmail Qa'ani, visited the Albu Kamal area on the Syrian side of the Syrian-Iraqi border. Following the entry into force of the Caesar Act, which tightened sanctions on Syria, Iran reiterated its commitment to maintain economic cooperation with Syria. Iran is maintaining its efforts to preserve its interests in Iraq under the changing circumstances created following the appointment of Mustafa al-Kazimi as Iraq’s Prime Minister.

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