Weekly Updates

Spotlight on Iran (April 19, 2020 – May 3, 2020)

On April 20, the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammed Javad Zarif, conducted an official visit to Syria and met with Syrian President Assad and the Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Walid al-Muallem. After Iranian cargo flights again started taking off from Iran to Syria, Syrian jets too renewed their flights from Lattakia to Tehran. The Iranian minister of foreign affairs spoke on the phone with his Iraqi counterpart as political factions in Iraq continue to wrangle over the formation of a new government in Baghdad.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (April 23-30, 2020)

In the Idlib region in Syria, the ceasefire was generally maintained, although the intensity of the incidents again increased during the past week. In Iraq, ISIS has continued its high-intensity activity, taking advantage of the spread of COVID-19 (2,003 patients to date). Nigeria continued to dominate the terrorist and guerrilla activity of ISIS’s other provinces in Africa and Asia. In ISIS’s Yemen Province, a war of hearts and minds is being waged between ISIS and Al-Qaeda, concurrently with the fighting on the ground.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (April 22 – 27, 2020)

This past week events focused on the combined vehicular-stabbing attack at a roadblock southeast of Jerusalem and on the continuing threats (so far not carried out) from the Gaza Strip to renew the launching of IED and incendiary balloons. Apparently the spread of coronavirus in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip is still under control. In March 2020 the Israeli security forces exposed a Hamas network whose operatives were planning terrorist attacks in Jerusalem and the Ramallah region.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (April 7-22, 2020)

In the Idlib region, the ceasefire was generally maintained. In Iraq, ISIS has increased its activity significantly, taking advantage of the spread of COVID-19 (1,584 patients to date) and the reduction in the scope of activity of the US-led International Coalition.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (April 7 – 21, 2020)

The Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria have been relatively quiet because of the COVID-19 crisis. In interviews for Palestinian Prisoners Day senior Hamas figures continue sending signals to Israel about their readiness to hold negotiations for an exchange of prisoners. The PA and Hamas are focusing most of their attention on the COVID-19 crisis. In the meantime the PA continues its smear campaign, accusing Israel of [allegedly deliberately] spreading COVID-19 to attack the national strength and health of the Palestinians.
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Spotlight on Iran (April 5, 2020 – April 19, 2020)

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage Iran and the world, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Shi’ite militias backed by Iran continue to entrench their presence in Syria. Iran welcomed the appointment the Director of the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS), Mustafa al-Kazemi, to the position of prime minister-designate. Meanwhile, Iran continues to stress the need for a complete pullout of U.S. forces from Iraq. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, senior Iranian officials joined Hamas’ call for the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons.
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