Worldview Weekly Security Update – May 09, 2019
9-May-19
Monday 06 May 2019:

Israel / Palestinian Territories (Security threat levels – 3 / 4): Early on 6 May 2019, Palestinian officials announced that the Israeli government and Hamas had agreed to a ceasefire following several days of border hostilities. In an announcement on Hamas TV, one official claimed that the ceasefire would begin at 0430 local time (0130 UTC). The ceasefire comes after Hamas and Israel exchanged rocket attacks and airstrikes between 2 and 5 May

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The worst of the violence occurred on 4 and 5 May, when militants fired approximately 700 rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel. The Iron Dome defense system intercepted most of the rockets, but some landed in populated areas. In response to the attacks, Israeli forces launched several airstrikes into Gaza. Four Israeli civilians and 20 Palestinians — including 13 civilians and seven members of the Islamic Jihad militant group — were killed in the attacks.

South Africa (Security threat level – 4): On 3 May 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria issued a Security Alert that reads in part as follows:

  • Location: South Africa
  • Event: On May 8, 2019, South Africa will hold national and provincial elections. Tensions may be heightened during campaign and election periods. Protest marches and demonstrations can occur anywhere in South Africa, sometimes at short notice, causing disruptions to traffic and public transportation, and with the potential to become violent.
  • May 8 is a national holiday, so all U.S. Mission to South Africa offices will be closed.”
  • Tuesday 07 May 2019:

    Sri Lanka (Security threat level – 3): On 7 May 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Sri Lanka, which reads in part as follows:

  • The Sri Lankan government continues to use curfews to support ongoing security operations; these have been limited to certain areas and have been put in place at short notice, so you should keep up to date with developments.
  • Wednesday 08 May 2019:

    Afghanistan (Security threat level – 5): On 8 May 2019, Taliban militants detonated an explosive device in Kabul’s Shahr-e-Naw area near the attorney general’s office and the headquarters of international non-government organization (NGO) Counterpart International. The explosion was followed by a gun battle between militants and security forces. Authorities evacuated at least 80 people from the NGO’s office building. Approximately two dozen people were injured during the security incident. A Taliban representative later stated that they had targeted the NGO for conducting “harmful Western activities” inside Afghanistan.

    Pakistan (Security threat level – 5): On 8 May 2019, a suicide bomber detonated explosives near a police vehicle parked outside the Data Darbar Sufi Shine in Lahore. Hundreds of people were in or around the shrine — a popular pilgrimage site and tourist attraction — when the blast occurred. At least 10 people were killed and 23 others were injured in the blast. The Hizbul Ahrar, a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban, has claimed responsibility for the attack.

    Bangladesh (Security threat level – 4): On 9 May 2019, jute mill workers in Khulna and Dhaka’s Demra district continue to observe a strike over unpaid wages for a fourth consecutive day. In Demra district, the workers blocked roads between 0900 and 1600 local time (0300 and 1000 UTC); in Khulna, workers also blocked roads for several hours. While the current protests have only involved workers from jute mills in Demra and Khulna, workers at all state-run mills are expected to begin a strike on 14 May if demands are not met. As part of the action, workers will go on strike and block roads between 1600 and 1900 local time every day.

    North Korea (Security threat level – 3): At approximately 1630 local time (0430 UTC) on 9 May 2019, North Korea fired two suspected short-range missiles from a military base in the northwestern city of Kusong, located approximately 160 km (100 mi) from Pyongyang. The missiles reached an altitude of 50 km and flew approximately 420 km and 270 km respectively before falling into the East China Sea. The weapons test is North Korea’s second in less than a week.

    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.