Monthly Travel Risk Summary Report

Welcome to May,

Ares Risk Management is here to help and support the travelling business community. We are here to provide you with the intelligence and threat trends which will keep you and your personnel safe while travelling – especially if your business takes you to some of the worlds at risk, crisis or conflict zones.

We’d like to remind you that when travelling abroad, even to countries which are considered “safe”, we live in a dangerous world. While conflict or terror attacks might not be prevalent in the country or city you are visiting, all countries and cities suffer from varying types and levels of crime. Be aware of the types of crime you might encounter.

We would also like to remind you that the weather may disrupt your travel plans. We also advise that you consider health issues and ensure that you are immunised (if need be) before travelling.

It is also worth noting that some over the counter and prescription medications which a legal and freely accessible in the UK and Europe might be considered contraband in other countries so please be sure that you check what medications are allowed and which are considered contraband.

If you are travelling at any time this year and would like a more detailed country and regional risk assessment, focused on your travel plans and itinerary before deciding whether you need the services of an International Executive Close Protection Team or not, please do not hesitate to contact us at Ares Risk Management.

~ SETTING THE SCENE FOR May  ~

As SARS-COV-2 (Corona Virus) loosens its grip on the world and with what currently seems like a growing success of the vaccination program in the UK and other parts of the world. Lockdowns are slowly but surely being lifted and restrictions on travel is also being eased, with a few exceptions – India being a destination which comes immediately to mind as the infection rates and death tolls in India have skyrocketed.

We are not quite out of the woods yet; however it seems that everything is still on track with regards to the advice provided by the UK Government in March, and it would seem that international travel for holidays will be allowed after May 15th, 2021.

Speak to your Travel Management Company to find out which countries are allowing visitors to enter without restriction, which countries continue to impose restrictions and quarantines and those that will let you in if you have a valid Covid Vaccination/Health Certificate.

The latest news on the Coronavirus can be found here:

  1. Government Travel Advice: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus
  2. UK Government – Coronavirus Advice: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
  3. NHS Coronavirus Advice: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Weather Hazards & Natural Disasters

EARTHQUAKES

During the first 5-days of May, there have been 86 earthquakes with a magnitude of 4 or higher. The Map below gives a visualisation of where the quakes occurred and the magnitude.

Yellow = 7 ago, Orange = Past 48 Hours, Red = Past 24 Hours, Purple = today.
The bigger the circle – the larger the magnitude.

May 2021 - Earthquake Mapping

INDONESIA
2nd & 5th May – A magnitude 5.5 earthquake, shook Indonesia on the 2nd May – this was followed by a magnitude 5.7 quake which occurred earlier today (5th May) in the Mantawai Strait, off western Sumatra, Indonesia at around 08:24 local time. So far there have been no reports of casualties or damage to buildings and infrastructure; however, aftershocks are expected in the next few days and it is possible that local authorities will shut down transportation infrastructure while they check for damage. If no damage is found transportation infrastructure will be reopened quickly. There could also be disruption to Utilities in the immediate quake zone. The 5th May quake follows hot on the heels of a 5.5 magnitude quake with occurred in the region on Sunday 2nd May.

TONGA
4th & 5th May -
A magnitude 5.6 earthquake near Pangai, Ha'apai, on the 4th May, and was followed by a 5.5 quake in the same region earlier today local time. There have been no initial reports of casualties or damage and significant structural damage is unlikely. It is currently being reported that it could take the authorities several hours to perform damage checks, especially in remote areas. It is expected that the region should anticipate after-shocks over the coming days.

MONGOLIA
3rd May -
  A 6.3-magnitude earthquake jolted Khovsgol Province in northern Mongolia on Monday afternoon, according to the country’s Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics. The strong earthquake was felt in many parts of the country, including the capital, Ulaanbaatar, and the provinces of Khovsgol, Orkhon, Darkjan-Ull, Bulgan and Arkjanjay, but no damage was reported.

CHILE
May 2nd – A quake with a magnitude of 5.8 struck of the coast of Central Chile, this has been followed by 4.4 – 4.6 magnitude quake 65 km northeast of San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. To date there have been no reports of casualties or damage to buildings or infrastructure so far. Chile continues to find itself reeling in the aftermath of a deadly 8.8 quake which hit Chile a month ago.

JAPAN
1st - 3rd May
– Coastal regions of Japan have once again been hit by earthquakes ranging in magnitude from 4.0 to 6.8. Regions affected by the series of quakes include Miyagi prefecture, Hokkaido, and Honshu. No Tsunami alerts were issued and so far, there are no reports of casualties or damage to buildings or infrastructure.

CYCLONES, HURRICANES & TYPHOONS

The Hurricane Season across the Caribbean/ Bahamas/Florida and Carolina’s/Mexico and Northern South American countries spans from the 1st June through to the end of November annually.

The Typhoon Season in Japan and Western Pacific spans from July to October.

Cyclone Season – South Pacific runs annually from November to  April.

With the South Pacific Cyclone Season over and the Hurricane and Typhoon seasons yet to begin there are no Cyclone, Hurricane or Typhoons to report on this month.

 

FLOODING, LANDSLIDES, MUDSLIDES


RWANDA

Flash floods in Gahunga Sector of Burera District, Northern Province, Rwanda on 27 April 2021 left 1 person dead and damaged or destroyed houses, crops and livestock. Rwanda is currently in its rainy season and has some of the most dangerous gullies in the world. Burera is located in a region prone to seasonal floods due to uncontrollable streams of water from the volcanoes. The current rainy season is due to end at the end of May – this will be followed by a dry season, and the rain will be back on October and November.

COLOMBIA
21 April – 4 May
Local media reported heavy rain caused a landslide in Anserma Town, Caldas Department, Colombia on 28 April, destroying a building and killing 1 resident.

JAVA ISLAND - INDONEASIA
A young person died in a landslide in Ginanjar Village, Ciambar District, Sukabumi Regency, West Java on 01 May 2021, two people were injured and 9 people (3 families) affected. 3 houses were damaged, 2 severely. Local disaster agency said the landslide was caused by the overflow of nearby irrigation water and soil instability.

AFGHANISTAN
4th May - The Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) reported on 04 May 2021 that recent heavy rain and flash flooding affected 9 provinces of Herat, Ghor, Maidan Wardak, Baghlan, Samangan, Khost, Bamyan, Daikundi and Badakhshan. As of 04 May, 16 people had died, 10 were missing, 44 homes destroyed and 197 damaged. Media reported 14 people died in Adraskan district in Herat Province.

ALGERIA
2nd – 4th May
- Severe flash flooding resulting in fatalities has affected parts of northern Algeria since 02 May 2021. As of 04 May, 2 fatalities were reported in Batna Province, 4 in Médéa Province and 1 in M'Sila Province.

USA
3rd, 4th & 5th May
- Rescue teams in boats evacuated apartment residents near Birmingham, Alabama, on Tuesday (4th May) after a rare flash flood emergency in portions of Jefferson and Shelby counties. The alert came as powerful and deadly storms continued to cause damage across much of the South with more tornadoes, high winds, and hail, in addition to the flooding.

At least three people have died in the severe weather – two in Georgia and one in Tennessee. More than 200,000 homes and businesses from Texas across the Deep South and into Virginia were without electricity Wednesday morning (5th May), according to poweroutage.us. More than 138,000 of those were in Alabama and Mississippi.

YEMEN
4th May
- Torrential rains and flooding which started in mid-April continued into May; intensified rainfall over the past few days is causing damage to infrastructure, destroying homes and shelter and causing 13 deaths so far and numerous injuries. Flooding caused multiple large-scale damage in Aden, Abyan, Al Dhale’e, Lahj, Hadramaut, Ma’rib and Ta’iz governorates. While assessments of the damage caused by heavy rains and flooding are ongoing, initial field reports indicate that thousands of families have been affected and the majority of them are in areas occupied by internally displaced persons.

 

FOREST FIRE DANGERS

Wildfires and forest fires have reduced in number as May 2021 begins and during this first 5-days of May there are no new forest or wildfires to report.

VOLCANOES

The beginning of May 2021, has shown a slow-down in volcanic activity around the world, where there are currently no new eruptions to report. The last reported eruptions were recorded in Guatemala and Soufriere St. Vincent on the 23rd April.

Disease Alert

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
The Corona Virus (aka Covid-19, and SARS-Cov-2) continues to plague the world affecting not only health but national and global economies … whereas in the early summer of 2020, it seemed like the world was making some headway in reducing the rates of infection and subsequent deaths – November saw the beginning of spikes in infection and death rates. Since the beginning of 2021, three new variant strains of Covid-19 have been identified. All three strains are considered to be more contagious than the original Covid virus, and there is speculation that these strains might be marginally more deadly than the original virus. Meanwhile the vaccine roll-out in the UK and other parts of the world is progressing well and the pharmaceutical companies which make the vaccines believe that the current Covid vaccines will help to protect against the new strains. In April 2021, both India and parts of South America saw significant spike in Covid infection rates and subsequent increases in death rates. While progress is being made the world is far from over this global health crisis.

 

CHOLERA OUTBREAK: Nigeria | Cameroon | Ethiopia | Kenya | Tanzania| Zambia | Mozambique | India | Yemen | Burundi
DENGUE FEVER OUTBREAK: Honduras | Maldives | Thailand | Cambodia | Laos | Malaysia | Nepal | Vietnam | Sri Lanka | Bangladesh | Philippines
EBOLA HEMORRHAGIC FEVER OUTBREAK: Rwanda | South Sudan | Burundi | Uganda | South Africa | Democratic Republic of Congo
LASSA FEVER OUTBREAK: Nigeria | Liberia | Sierra Leone | Guinea | Honduras
MALARIA EPIDEMIC: Burundi | Togo
MEASLES OUTBREAK:  Democratic Republic of Congo | South Sudan | Madagascar | Nigeria| South America | Ukraine | Philippines | UK
POLIO OUTBREAK: Afghanistan | Cameroon | Democratic Republic of Congo | Ethiopia | Islamic Republic of Iran | Mozambique | Niger | Nigeria | Pakistan | Papua New Guinea |Somalia | Philippines

Civil Unrest

The Civil Unrest Index as produced by Maplecroft remain largely unchanged, although the list of events which have occurred during the first 15-days of March 2021, would indicate a bit of a surge. The analysis of the data continues to suggest 75 countries worldwide will be particularly vulnerable to increased incidents of social unrest including some 34 European Countries.

In countries where May Day is normally celebrated, this year demonstrations turned violent and ugly in many parts of the world…

Europe BERLIN – over 20,000 people took part in several rallies and demonstrations across Berlin on 2nd May. While some of the Rallies were peaceful, others were not resulting in at least 93 police officers were injured and 354 protesters were detained after rallies turned violent.

BRUSSELS – Police used tear gas and water cannons after people gathered at the Bois de la Cambre Park, for a party called “La Boum 2.

LONDON - There was a large gathering in Trafalgar Square to demonstrate against a new government bill, which critics argue will limit their right to protest.

PARIS - Hooded, black-clad demonstrators clashed with police in Paris on Saturday as thousands of people joined traditional May Day protests across France to demand social and economic justice and voice their opposition to government plans to change unemployment benefits. More than 106,000 people marched throughout France, including 17,000 in Paris, according to the Interior Ministry. About 300 rallies were organised in cities including Lyon, Nantes, Lille and Toulouse.

TURKEY Police clashed with union leaders and demonstrators with more than 200 people detained in Istanbul, with authorities being instructed to try and prevent any media coverage of the event.

USA SEATLE, PORTLAND, OAKLAND – Protests, demonstrations and riots continue to spring up across the USA during the May Day weekend. On Seatle a child was attacked by ANTIFA, where more than 14 people were arrested for violent disorder and property damage.

Several protesters were arrested, and two police officers injured Saturday night in violent confrontations with a splinter group of about 70 demonstrators who marched through downtown Oakland streets following an day of peaceful May Day protests

Portland police declared a riot and made arrests at May Day activities Saturday night, following a day of mostly peaceful marches and rallies.

ASIA/MIDDLE EAST INDONESIA - Workers in Indonesia marked international labour day on Saturday with significantly less-attended marches due to coronavirus restrictions, but thousands still vented their anger at a new law they say harms their rights and welfare.  More than 6,300 police personnel were deployed to secure the capital.

PHILIPEANS - police in the Philippine capital of Manila prevented hundreds of workers belonging to left-wing groups from holding a May Day rally at a public plaza, said protest leader Renato Reyes.

TAIWAN - In Taipei City in Taiwan, hundreds of protesters marched in the streets to ask for better salaries and more secure pensions. Most protesters wore face masks to protect themselves from the virus.

SOUTH AMERICA Millions of people across many South American Counties took to the streets in peaceful marches and protests, with the biggest turn out of close to one-million people coming out in Havana, Cuba.

HONDURAS - Riot police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of May 1 demonstrators in the capital who joined an opposition-led protest against President Juan Orlando Hernandez. Protesters were seen fleeing the choking gas, including some carrying children who had been overcome.

Conflict Risk Alert

The first in a 4-year lull in global conflict risk was short lived as this month see a conflict potential as highlighted below. If you are travelling to any of the countries listed below – take extreme care and exercise maximum caution as these countries at very high risk of descending into conflict and or experiencing a deepening of pre-existing conflict. If travelling to the countries listed below specialist Hostile Environment Close Protection and armoured transport should be considered a must!

CHAD Tensions have been high in Chad since the sudden death of President Idriss Deby nearly two weeks ago. He ruled the impoverished country for nearly 30 years but was killed while visiting troops fighting rebels.

Deby’s son was immediately announced as his successor, and a military council was set up. That move was rejected by the opposition, which condemns the army’s takeover as a coup which has since led to more division – at least five people were killed in clashes between protesters and security forces earlier this week.

Civil society groups in Chad are calling for more protests to demand a return to civilian rule. Some demonstrators say they want to choose their leader freely, while others accuse France of backing the military council against the will of the people.

The spectre of more anti-government protests is just one of the threats now facing the transitional military council in power.

SOMALIA The ongoing political crisis in Somalia raises security risks for the region. Delayed elections in Somalia amid political infighting has enabled al-Qaeda-linked militants al-Shabab, have taken advantage of the impasse to make gains in an insurgency, raising the threat of insecurity in eastern Africa. The violence was already escalating, while the Somali army had fought to take territory from al-Shabaab, it hasn’t won enough ground to avert a security threat during elections. Meanwhile millions of civilians have fled their homes because of the violence, to refugee camps in neighbouring countries. With all the heightened tensions it is feared that Somalia could once again descend into civil war.
AFGHANISTAN The Taliban issued a warning to U.S. and NATO forces of possible counterattacks as the original May 1 deadline for the complete withdrawal of foreign troops passed, stoking fears of increased violence in response to President Biden’s extension of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan to Sept. 11, 2021

Taliban fighters are prepared to “take every counteraction” that the movement “deems appropriate against the occupying forces,” said Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman.

Meanwhile the Afghan people are bracing for an increase in violence as foreign forces withdraw from the country. The Pentagon has issued a warning that U.S. forces may be at risk of attack due to the delay of US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has already seen an uptick in violence in recent days. Taliban fighters overran a small Afghan army base on the edge of Ghazni’s provincial capital Saturday, (1st May) south of Kabul. On Friday night, (30th April), a truck bombing in neighbouring Logar province killed at least 21 people and injured 91, according to the Interior Ministry. All the victims were civilians, many students, as the attack occurred near a university prep dormitory, the statement said.

Clashes between Afghan government forces and the Taliban in recent months have largely been in the country’s rural districts, but Taliban fighters have been moving increasingly closer to Afghan towns and cities. Large-scale bombings inside Afghan urban areas had largely ceased following the Taliban’s signing of the withdrawal deal last year with the United States, but many Afghans fear they could again become the norm once foreign forces withdraw.

Deteriorating situations

Covid-19 has had a massive effect on countries in Africa and South America. Over the past 12-months, global data has revealed that poor people are at greater risk of Covid-19 than those from more affluent neighbourhoods /countries. This has been a particularly hard-blow to many impoverished 3rd-world countries. Covid-19 has served to underscore inequality at all levels within the Maslow Hierarchy globally. This has led to violent demonstration and the death of protests in some regions, which only served to inflame the already volatile situations.

With travel restrictions slowly easing – and variations on what additional proof of COVID vaccination travellers may have to provide, before they travel, it continues to be unlikely that you will be able to travel to the world’s conflict zones, which in turn will cause problems in these countries as humanitarian aid dries up.

When the ability to travel to countries on the cusp of or grip of war, we seriously recommend that you request a detailed country and regional risk assessment, as well as engaging the services of professional and experienced Hostile Close Protection Operators and where necessary the use of armoured vehicles.

BENIN Benin’s militant problem may worsen after last month’s election, as the government focused on weeding out political opponents in recent years, rather than combating extremist and criminal groups. Once seen as a democratic success story, this year has seen 17 of the 20 presidential candidates arrested and thereby disqualified by the incumbent President. This has led to violent protests and an opposition boycott of the election. Protesters blocked major roads to central and northern Benin, delaying the delivery of election materials to the north. On election day, a coalition of more than 1,400 Beninese election observers reported witnessing officials tampering with ballot boxes, obstruction of election observers and intimidation of voters.

Benin’s contentious election coincides with rising threats from extremist and criminal groups in neighbouring Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria. In the north of Benin, groups linked to al-Qaeda and groups that pledged loyalty to the Islamic State stage attacks not far from the border with Burkina Faso. To Benin’s northeast, networks of bandits and kidnappers operate in north western Nigeria, where the expansion of Boko Haram remains a threat.

CHAD See CHAD in Conflict Risk Alert
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC of CONGO The Democratic Republic of the Congo has several problems to address if it is not to descend into outright conflict – and has seen an upsurge in violence, conflict, and instability.

One of the biggest problems facing the mainly Christian country are Islamic terrorists who regularly and frequently kidnap people and give them the choice between conversion to Islam or death. There is also a huge food crisis to be addresses with 5.2 million people displaced within the country due to the Islamic insurgency and 27.3 million people who are highly food insecure. Added to this are illegal mining operations, where rare minerals are extracted from the Congo and taken (illegally) to be processed in neighbouring countries, thereby denying the Congolese people economic stability and grown.

Earlier this week, the President declared a state of security emergency (“l’état de siege”) for the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri. Insecurity in the east has further worsened since the beginning of 2021.

The goal to eradicate all armed groups operating in the DRC is reportedly one priority of the new government that was sworn in on 26 April 2021. The government is reportedly also planning a truth and reconciliation commission for the conflict-torn provinces. Aid organisations and Nobel Peace laureate Dr Denis Mukwege called to end "impunity" for perpetrators of human rights violations in eastern DRC, including "agents of the security forces and other officials".

ETHIOPIA In a conflict that started over ethnic tensions some 6-months ago, the daily violence rumbles on, and reports continue to emerge of massacres, rape, and widespread hunger.

The armed conflict in the region has disrupted the planting and harvesting or crops which is the underlying cause of the food insecurity and huger, yet there is no end to the fighting in sight; it is doubtful that farmers will be able to produce the necessary food stocks.

In addition, thousands of children are currently separated from their parents. Many of these children were separated from their parents while fleeing for their lives during the conflict. Others have lost parents to the violence. With no adult caregivers these children are at high risk of neglect, sexual and physical abuse and are surviving in dire conditions.

Also in the 6-months since the beginning of this conflict the number of women, including elderly women and girls, who have reported being raped has increased sharply, however many more women do not report for fear of reprisals and the stigma attached to women who have been sexually assaulted.

NIGERIA With various tensions including, the herd-farmer conflict, conflict with neighbouring countries in the Niger Delta and Islamic insurgency, (Boko Haram) and food insecurity, crime and kidnappings, and ethnic and religious clashes, Nigeria is at risk becoming a failed state. To address some of these pressing challenges governors from the Southern Nigeria convened a meeting earlier today (6th May) and although there are not many details of the agenda of this meeting, what is clear is that the governors deliberated on how to stop the country from degenerating into anarchy, in view of the high-level insecurity across the country. While many suggested solutions to the challenges faced by Nigeria have been put forward very few have been acted up resulting in continued violence and insecurity.
SOMALIA See Conflict Risk Alert above
SUDAN On 27th April 2021, a United Nations report warns that the slow implementation of a revitalised peace accord in South Sudan risks pushing the country back into a “large-scale conflict”. Political, military, and ethnic divisions in South Sudan are widening, leading to multiple violent incidents between the main signatories to last year’s ceasefire, the possibility of renewed war, and nearly 100,000 people facing “famine-like conditions”, it said.

Meanwhile to ease the tensions and build on the Jaba Peace Plan, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on Sunday (2nd May) appointed former rebel leader Mini Arko Minawi as the governor of the western Darfur region, according to a Cabinet statement.

Sudan, South Sudan and Darfur continue to experience great uncertainty and ongoing daily incidents of violence.

INDIA The spike in Covid infection and deaths in the past month have put a lot of pressure on the people and the government of India and underlies the potential for civil unrest.

There is there is the ongoing crises between India and Pakistan which is  likely to become more intense, in the coming months, and there are fears that both countries may yet stumble into a war which neither country wants.

Meanwhile the stand-off between India and China, in the Himalayan boarder region continues and could easily escalate. Some analysts believe that China is winning this stalemate as actions taken by India so far have had little impact on China, and the options for India when addressing their problems with China seem to be limited. Again there is a risk that current tensions may lead to conflict.

PAKISTAN See India above
NORTHERN IRELAND An almost-forgotten conflict in UK-ruled Northern Ireland made headlines in April when pop-up protests and riots caused the injury to more than 100 police officers. Loyalists angered due to the Northern Ireland Protocol of the Brexit agreement is what sparked the protest and violence, because the protocol has created a de facto border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, imposing a border check on goods between Great Britain and the region. Many in Northern Ireland are accusing the EU of demanding a border in the post-Brexit era. Sadly, the British government has signed up to it under pressure from both the EU and Irish Republic Governments, which to many in Northern Ireland believe has allowed the EU to annex Northern Ireland.

Arlene Foster’s resignation as Northern Ireland’s First Minister risks triggering more instability to a region already riven by sectarian strife and mounting concerns around the impact of Brexit. Northern Ireland played a central role in the rupture with the European Union and the drawn-out acrimony around it.

Added to this, there are reports emerging today (6th May) that the UK government is to ban prosecutions of British army veterans for alleged crimes during the Troubles.

Sinn Féin, Labour, the SDLP and the Alliance party accused Downing Street of betraying victims of violence and making a shameful attempt to protect security force personnel at the expense of justice. The proposed statutory ban on Troubles prosecutions – which would apply to members of the IRA and other paramilitary groups as well as British troops, would replace prosecutions with a “Truth and Reconciliation” model. Sinn Féin have already come out and said they would oppose such a proposal.

What is known is that Northern Ireland can be a volatile place where events can very quickly spiral out of control, and more protests and riots are expected.

KYRGYZSTAN / TAJIKISTAN The on again / off again conflict in the border regions of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, were on again between the 28th and 29th April, with the bulk of the armed fighting taking place on the 29th April. The conflict between local residents of the border regions of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan escalated into an armed confrontation between the military of the two countries. The clashes between the border guards lasted more than six hours. About 50 people were killed on both sides, more than 200 were injured. On the evening the 29th April a cease-fire was agreed and in recent days troops have moved back, however this border region is a hot-zone, known for sudden and sporadic bouts of intense armed fighting.
VENEZUELA Amid political instability, high crime and corruption, Venezuela is facing a severe humanitarian emergency, with millions unable to access basic healthcare and adequate nutrition. Limited access to safe water in homes and healthcare centres has contributed to the spread of Covid-19. In addition Journalists have been subjected to intimidation and defamation suits have also been used in an attempt to censor journalists. There has also been a report uptick in violent crimes and murder of women and girls. Venezuela is rapidly descending into a totalitarian state where all vestiges of democracy and human rights are being dismantled, by the current government.
ISRAEL-PALESTINE This past week three terrorist attacks were attempted or carried out in Judea and Samaria. Three Israelis were wounded in a shooting attack and two stabbing attacks were prevented. The escalation in terrorist attacks was caused primarily by the events in east Jerusalem, including an attempt to evacuate residents from Sheikh Jarrah and the postponement of the Palestinian Authority elections. The Palestinian terrorist organizations, led by Hamas, called for escalation, and encouraged the residents of Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem to carry out more attacks. The Gaza Strip was relatively quiet except for a failed attempt to fire two rockets. Israel lifted the limitations on the fishing zone off the Gaza Strip coast, which in the short term will alleviate some of the tensions.

Far from the Israel-Palestinian conflict being over, it has metastasised and become intractable - beyond the point where diplomatic overture can find solutions to problems which are over 50-years old.

If you are travelling at any time this year and would like a more detailed country and regional risk assessment, before deciding whether you need the services of an International Executive Close Protection Team or not, please do not hesitate to contact us at Ares Risk Management.

Finally, we’d like to wish you a safe and COVID-19 free May.

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