Weekly Updates

Spotlight on Global Jihad (October 15-21, 2020)

In the Idlib region, exchanges of artillery fire continued between the Syrian army and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), albeit at a somewhat lower intensity. In Iraq, Syria and the Sinai Peninsula, ISIS has continued its routine activity. ISIS Spokesman Abu Hamza al-Qurashi released an audiotape in which he calls, inter alia, for the overthrow of the “tyrannical” Arab rulers, against the backdrop of the normalization agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (October 14 – 20, 2020)

In the Gaza Strip the number of active Covid-19 cases continues rising (1,893 as of October 20, 2020). In Judea and Samaria the curve is flattening, but the number of active cases is still high (4,477). The Hamas administration and the ministry of health in Ramallah are concerned about an outbreak of seasonal flu together with Covid-19 cases. Palestinians in Judea and Samaria continue throwing stones, rocks, Molotov cocktails and bottles of paint at Israeli vehicles.

Spotlight on Iran (October 1, 2020 – October 18, 2020 )

Negotiations are continuing apace between Iran and Russia concerning the war in Syria: following the visit of the Iranian minister of foreign affairs to Moscow in late September, the Iranian ambassador met with the Russian deputy foreign minister and discussed developments in Syria. The bodies of eight fighters of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) who were killed in the vicinity of the town of Khan Touman southwest of Aleppo city, were identified as part of ongoing efforts of the IRGC in Syria to identify the location of dozens of Iranian fighters who have gone missing in action during the Syrian civil war. Media sources in Iraq reported that the Commander of the IRGC’s Qods Force, Esmail Qa’ani, arrived for a visit in Baghdad and met with senior commanders of the Shia militias, as part of ongoing discussions between the Iraqi government, the Shia militias and the Iranian regime.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (October 1-14, 2020)

In the Idlib area, there was an increase in the intensity of the incidents between Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and the Syrian army in the first half of October 2020. At the same time, HTS is carrying out intensive military activity against rival jihadist groups with the aim of strengthening its control in the Idlib region. Routine activity continued in ISIS’s various provinces. The Syrian Democratic Council, the civilian wing of the SDF, announced (October 5, 2020) its intention to release 25,000 wives and children of ISIS operatives detained in the Al-Hawl camp. The intention is to release them gradually.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (October 1 – 13, 2020)

The number of active Covid-19 cases in the Gaza Strip rose again, after it seemed that the spread of the disease had been halted. In Judea and Samaria, on the other hand, the trend towards a decline in the number of active cases continues, and it currently stands at 4,341 (as of October 12, 2020). On October 5, 2020, a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) has threatened Israel because of Maher al-Akhras, a PIJ terrorist operative who has been on a hunger strike for almost 80 days. Jibril Rajoub, secretary of Fatah's Central Committee, continues promoting a internal Palestinian reconciliation, and to that end he met in Damascus and Beirut with operatives from the PIJ and other terrorist organizations.

Spotlight on Iran (September 20, 2020 – October 1, 2020)

On September 23, Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, arrived for a visit in Moscow and met with his Russian colleague. The Iranian minister of energy conducted a video call with the Syrian minister of water, during which the two agreed to establish a strategic committee to facilitate the implementation the bilateral cooperation agreement in the water sector, which was signed last year by the two countries. On September 26, the Iraqi foreign minister arrived for a two-day visit in Tehran, during which he met with senior Iranian government officials. At the same time, a military delegation headed by the deputy Iranian Chief of Staff for International Affairs arrived for a visit in Baghdad.

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