Israel informed US Secretary Kerry Friday, Aug. 1, of its withdrawal from the 72-hour truce after gross Hamas violations which peaked in an attack on an IDF tunnel team in Rafah in which two soldiers were killed and Israeli Givati officer, 1st Lt. Hadar Goldin, 23, from Kfar Saba, was abducted. The White House condemned the Hamas violation as “barbaric.” Hamas also breached the truce with a score of rockets and mortar shells. IDF tanks, artillery, air force and special forces retaliated in southern Gaza. Hamas and Islamic Jihad report many dead.
Three Israeli soldiers were killed and 27 injured in the Gaza Strip Wednesday, July 30. The cabinet has decided to expand the Gaza mission. Maj. Gen. Sami Torjeman, OC Southern Command: The soldiers fighting “stubbornly,” have “seriously impaired” Hamas’ strength.More>
Despite the rush of diplomats and analysts declaring that an imminent ceasefire would soon stamp out the fighting in Gaza, the war refuses to end. But they overlook the conflict acquiring a religious dimension and fresh impetus.More>
That nine of the 10 Israeli servicemen killed in the counter-terror operation against Hamas Monday, July 28, died on Israeli soil was a wake-up call for Israel’s war leaders, indicating that Hamas had grabbed the initiative.More>
Israel's war leaders witheld the order to the IDF to advance to the next stage of its counter-terror ampaign - even after a day of deadly coordinated attacks by Hamas at the cost of 10 soldiers' lives.More>
Senior IDF commanders said Wednesday July 23 that it was time for a decisive war move. Dismantling Hamas’ tunnel network would take weeks, they said, but the critical encounter for completing their mission and bringing the war to a close remained to be fought after three key IDF victories: The battle for Shejaiya grabbed the headlines, but the confrontations in Rafah and Khan Younes in southern Gaza were just as important. The commanders urge a large-scale assault on the subterranean complex housing Hamas’ top military command.More...
US weapons and Iranian Al Qods officers join the Iraqi army in a major anti-al-Qaeda offensive to foil Al Qaeda’s plan for its first caliphate across the Syrian-Iraqi frontier - but also to buttress the pro-Iranian Shiite crescent arching over the region.More...
Top US soldier Gen. Martin Dempsey has just inaugurated Centcom’s Forward Command in Jordan manned by 273 US officers. It is linked to US, Israel, Jordanian and Saudi air commands ready for an order from President Barack Obama to impose a partial no-fly zone over Syria.More...
Shortly after DEBKA aired a special video on the Syrian war’s widening circle, Moscow announced Wednesday June 26, the evacuation beginning Friday of all Russian military and diplomatic personnel from Syria was complete, including its naval base at Tartus.More...
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was wavering Sunday, July 27, between sticking with his understsanding with Saudi Arabia and Egypt to crush Hamas, at the cost of a deep rift with Washington, or going along with Kerry, at the cost of Israel’s security against dangerous terrorists. This dilemma was mirrored in the stop-go ceasefire orders to Israel’s forces fighting in the Gaza Strip, an uncertainty of purpose that put them in great danger. It also left Hamas free to shoot rockets any time, with the US, Europe, Iran, Qatar and Turkey at its back.
Israel’s security and policy cabinet in Jerusalem and Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip and Qatar Friday, July 25, decided to reject the “humanitarian” seven-day ceasefire put before them by US Secretary of State John Kerry. Israel has not fully achieved the goals of Operation Defensive Edge, although its troops have gained a small advantage, while Hamas is still confident of victory. Kerry hoped his truce initiative would prevent the war’s escalation. It did not work. The IDF now awaits its next orders, while Hamas is preparing its next moves.
Before it ended with Hamas rocket fire Saturday night, July 26, the 12-hour Israel-Hamas ceasefire offered Israeli intelligence a rare opportunity for collecting enemy data. In the heat of battle, the IDF and its clandestine arms were unable to gain electronic and SIGINT access to the underground Hamas and Islamic Jihad command and control centers, which appear to be well equipped with complex tactical and encrypted communications systems. Now they must go for Hamas’ sophisticated intelligence production processing system, elements of which may have broken surface during the ceasefire.
While talking tough, Hamas is keen on a “humanitarian” ceasefire – not out of sudden concern for Gaza’s civilians but in desperation for an answer to the Chariot-4 tank’s Armored Shield Protection-Active Trophy missile defense system, the Windbreaker. The Russian Kornet-E and the 9M113 Konkurs guided missiles which Hamas has fired against them don’t leave a scratch. Hamas fears that the IDF’s 401st armored brigade’s tanks, the only ones fitted with this armor, will spearhead Israel’s decisive assault on its underground high command, and has asked Tehran to find a counter-measure.