Weekly Updates

Spotlight on Iran (July 8-22, 2021)

On July 9, an Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) fighter was killed in Syria, likely in a mine explosion. The Commander of the IRGC’s Qods Force, Esmail Qa’ani, recently visited Syria, during which he stopped over at the headquarters of the Fatemiyoun Brigade, an Afghan militia operating under IRGC control in Syria. In late July, an Iranian trade delegation is set to visit Syria to further cooperation between the cement industries of the two countries. The Iranian President-Elect, Ebrahim Raisi, spoke on the phone with the head of Hamas’ Politburo and the secretary general of Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (July 15-21, 2021)

Syria: Idlib region – 10 soldiers were killed and several others were wounded in exchanges of artillery fire between the Syrian army and the rebels. Iraq: One noteworthy attack this week was a deadly attack carried out by ISIS operatives on the eve of Eid al-Adha in a crowded open market in a Shiite neighborhood in east Baghdad. Africa: ISIS announced the resumption of hostilities between its operatives and the joint forces of Mozambique, South Africa and Portugal in the Palma region, northeast of Mozambique. Afghanistan: ISIS operatives continued to attack government and Taliban targets.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (July 14-20, 2021)

The Temple Mount, Jerusalem: On July 18, 2021, Tisha B'Av in the Jewish calendar, more than 1,000 Jews entered the Temple Mount, heavily secured by Israeli police. Palestinians clashed with Israeli police forces before the Temple Mount compound was opened for the Jews. Judea and Samaria: The Israeli security forces detained several dozen operatives from a Hamas student cell in Birzeit University who organized a visit to the recently-demolished house of Palestinian terrorist operative Muntaser Shalabi in the village of Turmus Aya. The Gaza Strip: Mohammed al-Emadi, chairman of Qatar's National Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza, left the Gaza Strip after a visit of several days. He visited both Israel and the Gaza Strip in an effort to find a way to deliver Qatar's money to the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Authority (PA): Contacts with the United States continue. PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh met with Hady Amr, deputy assistant secretary for Israeli and Palestinian affairs in the American State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (July 8 –14, 2021)

Syria: In the Idlib region, several wanted ISIS operatives were arrested as part of a counterterrorism operation carried out by HTS, the dominant organization in the rebel enclave. Iraq: This week, ISIS’s activity focused on the electricity infrastructure as part of what it calls its economic war. Africa: Most ISIS’s activity this week focused on Nigeria. Afghanistan: The Taliban movement continues to take over large areas of the country following the pullback of the international forces from the country and the weakness of the local government. The battle for hearts and minds: This week, the main article in ISIS’s Al-Naba’ weekly dealt with the failure of the International Coalition against ISIS to defeat the organization, against the backdrop of the June 2021 summit in Rome.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (July7-13, 2021)

Judea and Samaria: This past week Palestinians continued throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli civilians, communities and vehicles driving on the roads. IDF forces demolished the house of Palestinian terrorist Muntaser al-Shalabi (who holds American citizenship) in the village of Turmus Aya (north of Ramallah). The Gaza Strip: Hamas continues complaining about what it calls "Israel's delaying tactics in lifting of the siege of the Gaza Strip." The Palestinian Authority (PA): The Israeli State Security Cabinet confirmed that as of August 2021 the sum of about $182 million, the amount the PA pays Palestinian terrorist prisoners and the families of terrorist shaheeds, would be deducted from the tax revenues Israel collects for the PA. Muhammad Shtayyeh condemned the decision, claiming it violated agreements and international law. The death of political activist Nizar Banat while in the custody of the PA security forces is still causing unrest, although this past week there were fewer protests.

Spotlight on Iran (June 24, 2021 – July 8, 2021)

The President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, spoke on the phone with Iranian President-Elect, Ebrahim Raisi, and wished him success in his role. The two stressed the need to bolster cooperation between the two countries and to maintain coordination between them. In light on the ongoing confrontation between the United States and Shia militias along the Syria-Iraq border, the commander of Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), condemned the American presence in the region. The Iranian embassy in Beirut issued a statement insisting that the arrival of oil tankers from Iran to Lebanon does not require approval by the United States. In a TV interview, the former head of Hamas’ Politburo, Khaled Mashal, confirmed once again that Iran provides Hamas with weaponry and technology. He added, however, that Hamas is interested in also improving its ties with Saudi Arabia.

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