Weekly Updates

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (August 26 – September 1, 2020)

The Hamas-initiated tension along the Gaza Strip border, which has continued for nearly a month, apparently came to an end this past week. On the night of August 31, 2020, after several rounds of mediation conducted by the Qatari representative, Hamas announced both sides had agreed to end the escalation and return to the status quo ante.According to the Lebanese and Palestinian media, the understandings reached included the following: the renewal of the fuel deliveries, the delivery of medical equipment necessary to deal with Covid-19, an increase in the amount of electricity, the full restoration of the fishing zone, and beginning the international "strategic projects" in the industrial zone.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 20-26, 2020)

In the Idlib region, clashes continued between the Syrian army and the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham mainly in the areas southwest and south of Idlib. ISIS continued its routine activity in the various provinces around the world. ISIS operatives killed a senior Iraqi officer with the rank of colonel (aqid) during a chase. The Sinai Province continues to wage war against the Egyptian army in villages in the Rabi’a region, over a month after the showcase attack against the army camp near Rabi’a. According to several reports (requiring verification), ISIS leader (emir) in Yemen was ambushed and killed by the Houthi rebels this week.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (August 19 – 25, 2020)

This past week Hamas-initiated tension and the deterioration of the security situation in the Gaza Strip continued. The events focused on the launching of IED and incendiary balloons which daily cause dozens of fires near Israeli communities. On August 24, 2020 four active cases of Covid-19 were detected in the al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip; all four were members of the same family. They were the first Covid-19 cases detected inside the Gaza Strip which were not brought in through the crossings. Will the worsening of the Covid-19 crisis in Gaza relax the current tension or increase Hamas pressure on Israel to the point of escalation? So far there is no answer.

Spotlight on Iran (August 9, 2020 – August 23, 2020)

In mid-August, the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Javad Zarif, visited Lebanon following the explosion at the port of Beirut. Zarif discussed with senior Lebanese officials continued efforts to provide Iranian support to Lebanon following the disaster. The special adviser on political affairs to the Iranian minister of foreign affairs visited Damascus and met with the Syrian president and Syrian minister of foreign affairs. On August 16, the Commander of the IRGC’s Qods Force, Esmail Qa’ani, arrived for a visit in Baghdad. As expected, Iran condemned the normalization agreement reached between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 13-19, 2020)

This week as well, high-intensity incidents continued in the Idlib region between the Syrian army and the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham and the other rebel organizations. One noteworthy attack this week was the activation of an IED against one of the Turkish vehicles in the joint Russian-Turkish patrols. A network calling itself the Chechen Khattab Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack. After the end of the wave of attacks (the “Raids of Attrition”), ISIS resumed its “routine” attacks.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (August 12 – 18, 2020)

The violence near the Gaza Strip border initiated by Hamas continues. Dozens of IED and incendiary balloons were launched daily and riots were held near the border fence at night. In response, the IDF attacked targets in the Gaza Strip, most of them belonging to Hamas. There was stabbing attack in the Old City of Jerusalem. A Palestinian from a nearby town stabbed and wounded a Border Police fighter. The agreement to normalize Israel-UAE relations has led to a wave of strong protest from the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Palestinian terrorist organizations.

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