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Worldview Weekly Security Overview – March 28, 2019

25 – 28 March 2019

Monday 25 March 2019:

Israel (Security threat level – 3): On 25 March 2019, a long-range rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck a home in the village of Mishmeret, located approximately 25 km (15 mi) north of Tel Aviv. At least seven people were injured. This incident marks the furthest distance a rocket has been fired into Israel since 2014. No group has claimed responsibility for the rocket, but the militant group Hamas has explicitly denied its involvement. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that Israel will respond to the attack with force. Thus far, the Israeli military has called up its reserves and has deployed additional forces to southern Israel.

Tuesday 26 March 2019:

Israel / Palestinian Territories (Security threat levels – 3 / 4): As of 26 March 2019, schools in southern Israel and the Gaza Strip have been closed and Israeli and Palestinian authorities are preparing bomb shelters for use, following a night of heavy engagement between Israeli forces and Gaza militants. Israeli military forces have gathered on the Gaza border, imposed restrictions on civilian public gatherings, blocked roads in the southern part of the country and canceled all trains south of the city of Ashkelon in preparation for an escalation with Gaza militants. The security measures come after a long-range rocket fired from Gaza hit a home in central Israel on 25 March, injuring seven people. The incident prompted Israeli forces to launch retaliatory air strikes on Hamas and Islamic Jihad group targets in the Gaza Strip on 25 March and into early 26 March; Palestinian officials claim that those strikes have injured at least seven people. Meanwhile, air strikes from Gaza targeting communities in southern Israel also continued to occur through early 26 March, with rockets landing in open areas. While Hamas claims that it reached a ceasefire with Israel late on 25 March, Israeli officials have denied this and stated that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the Israeli army to continue striking Hamas targets until further notice.

Thursday 28 March 2019:

Somalia (Security threat level – 5): On 28 March 2019, an explosive-laden vehicle detonated outside a hotel and restaurant in Mogadishu’s Waberi district. The blast occurred outside the Bilsan restaurant and near the Hotel Weheliye on the busy Maka al-Mukarama road, damaging several buildings and vehicles. Preliminary reports indicate at least 11 people were killed and 16 others were injured in the bombing; the majority of the casualties were among people who were dining at the restaurant. While no group has claimed responsibility for the blast, the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Shabab militant group has conducted similar attacks in Mogadishu in the past.

Uganda (Security threat level – 4): On 28 March 2019, dozens of students gathered at Kyambogo University to protest against what they deem to be an unfair fee policy. Police officers used tear gas and live ammunition to disperse the protesters, injuring several students. Several businesses in and around the university have closed as a precaution. Police officers have also closed all roads leading to and from the university. The students have vowed to continue protesting until the university changes its policy.

Cameroon (Security threat level – 4): On 28 March 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Cameroon issued a Security Alert regarding travel safety, which reads as follows:

  • “Do Not Travel to: “North, Far North, Northwest and Southwest Regions, and Parts of East and Adamawa Regions, due to due to armed conflict. Violent crime, such as armed robbery and carjacking, is common throughout Cameroon. Local police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.
  • “The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in North, Far North, Northwest, Southwest, and Parts of Adamawa and East Regions of Cameroon due to current official travel restrictions.”

  • Security threat levels range from 1 (Very Low) to 5 (Very High) and are determined using a comprehensive system that utilizes both qualitative and quantitative analysis. The primary factors used to determine a location’s security threat level are Armed Conflict, Crime, Demonstrations/Strikes, Ethnic/Sectarian Tensions, Graft/Corruption, Kidnapping, Political Instability, Government Restriction and Terrorism.