top of page

Deaths of Three British Aid Workers Heightens Awareness of MENA Security Risks

By Arthur Willoughby

Three British Aid workers were among 7 killed by an Israeli air strike last night, prompting the British Foreign secretary to call for an “immediate” probe. The strike highlights the indiscriminate use of violence by the IDF since the October 7th attacks, but also the considerable risks for foreign nationals across the MENA region, which seems set to deteriorate. 

The ongoing war between Hamas and Israel - which has drawn in a wide range of actors both state and non-state - has inspired a fervent and highly emotional response from much of the local population. Intense protests occurred outside the Israeli embassy in Jordan over the past few days, and in Iran videos show American and Israeli flags being burned in response to the recent strike on the Irani consulate in Damascus. 

As a result, threat levels are the highest they’ve been in recent years. Across the Islamic world, the awareness of Palestinian injustice has fed into a collective sense of resentment against the West, with the US being seen as the true orchestrator behind Israel’s brutal treatment of Gazan civilians, particularly given the huge aid packages they continue to send Tel Aviv’s way. 

Increasingly extreme calls are being made by religious leaders in response. Today the Grand Mufti of Libya, Watan-Sheikh Sadik Al-Ghariani, issued a fatwa calling on Muslims to storm the crossings into Gaza and the West Bank. Iran has also vowed revenge for the Israeli strike that killed Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a Brigadier General of the Revolutionary Guards, prompting fears that all Israeli consulates and embassies are now legitimate targets for a retaliatory attack. 

Given these developments, VGRM recommends enacting extreme caution around sites that might represent attractive targets for both terrorist and military strikes across MENA. These include large public gatherings, holy sites, military and industrial infrastructure and places visited by foreigners. For the time-being at least, the dangers posed for all foreign visitors in the region are manifest.

4 views0 comments


bottom of page