DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 23, 2013, 6:52 AM (GMT+02:00)
The bloc Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud formed with Israeli Beitenu polled a disappointing 31 seats (in the 120-member Knesset) in Tuesday, Jan. 22, general election, according to 99 percent count of ballots.. The big winner is a newcomer to Israeli politics, centrist ex-journalist Yair Lapid, with 19 seats, who managed to push Shelly Yacimovich’s veteran Labor party down to third place with only 15 seats. Bennett and Shas – 11 each. Left-of-center with Arab parties could garner a bloc of 60 if Lapid joined.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 18, 2013, 12:55 AM (GMT+02:00)
Obama’s harsh words for Netanyahu enhance his domestic popularity and the size of his victory at the polls next week. The plethora of new parties and faces challenging him suffer from lack of experience, coherence and clarity of message.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 15, 2013, 10:56 AM (GMT+02:00)
After US intelligence admitted it cannot detect or stop a Syrian chemical attack, US experts now estimate that Iran will not be able to produce enough weapon-grade uranium for one or bombs before mid-2014 “without detection by the West.” debkafile: Barack Obama is preparing the world for the “surprise” of an Iranian nuclear test. The new, delayed dateline, moreover, is based on a false supposition. Already today, Iran has acquired or produced enough enriched uranium to build five nuclear bombs.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 11, 2013, 12:00 AM (GMT+02:00)
After five months of silence, Binyamin Netanyahu is again talking to his close advisers about the urgency of a military attack to preempt a nuclear Iran, because the window of opportunity won’t stay open more than a month or two. The domestic opposition he faced last September has ebbed.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis January 5, 2013, 11:33 AM (GMT+02:00)
Likud’s chief asset, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, may also be its chief liability. His silence and ambiguity, his failure to preempt a nuclear-armed Iran and his alignment with Barak Obama on Middle East affairs affecting Israel’s vital security are hurting his party - the joint Likud-Yisrael Beitenu ticket – which, 17 days before a general election, is on a downward slide to 34 from its first 47-seat rating. Yet, the polls still put him in the top slot (43+ percent) as favorite for prime minister and his left-of-center opposition is falling back.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 27, 2012, 9:54 PM (GMT+02:00)
A confederation plan for a Palestinian West Bank state and Jordan was the real subject of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s recent conversation with King Abdullah in Amman, debkafile’s sources reveal – not Syria. This idea has become a focal talking point in Amman, Washington and Palestinian centers. It ties in with the report from US and Jordanian sources that Israel and the Palestinians will resume talks in the spring for a long-term interim accord, and defer the core issues indefinitely.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 26, 2012, 10:00 PM (GMT+02:00)
While running for reelection, Barack Obama said an Iranian “breakout capacity” must be averted because it meant Tehran could quickly assemble a nuclear weapon before US or Israeli intelligence caught on and had time to intervene. debkafile: Iran is widely presumed to have passed this stage already, and so “breakout capacity” is just another red line to be blown away by Tehran. The talk of 2013 being a critical year for preempting Iran’s nuclear capacity is nothing but election spin.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis December 24, 2012, 7:13 PM (GMT+02:00)
Turkey’s resumption of strategic cooperation with Israel through NATO is a major breakthrough for Binyamin Netanyahu. He is constantly accused of bringing Israel into deep international isolation as he runs for reelection. NATO and Turkey undercut that charge. Barack Obama worked hard to heal the breach between Ankara and Jerusalem - both to strengthen his burgeoning pro-US Middle East axis and to pave the way for the resuscitation of Israel-Palestinian peace talks in March, 2013 in accord with Netanyahu.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 23, 2012, 12:42 PM (GMT+02:00)
“At the moment, [Syria’s] chemical weapons are under control,” said senior Israeli defense official Amos Gilad Sunday, Dec. 23, echoing the statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Saturday that Syrian chemical weapons “are under control for the time being.” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu then predicted early far-reaching changes in the Syrian regime with effect on "the sensitive weaponry present there.” debkafile: A foreign force commandeered the chemical stocks at al Safira after forcing the Syrian army and rebels to hold their fire.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 11, 2012, 3:26 PM (GMT+02:00)
The US approved 20 F-16 fighter planes for Egypt, part of a $1 billion foreign aid package, Tuesday, Dec. 11, the day scheduled for massive rival demonstrations for and against President Mohamed Morsi’s constitutional referendum Saturday, Dec. 15. The first four jets will be delivered the day after Barack Obama’s swearing-in as president, and coincide with Israel’s January 22 elections. Obama is telling the Middle East that he stands by his backing for the Muslim Brotherhood, including the radical Palestinian Hamas.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis December 10, 2012, 8:52 PM (GMT+02:00)
West Bank security has dropped sharply since the Gaza ceasefire brought in eased restrictions for Hamas and fellow terrorists and tight rules of engagement for Israeli soldiers. Palestinian mobs on the West Bank are free to hurl rocks and abuse at Israel soldiers who, like their comrades at the Gaza fence, are not allowed to shoot back. At the assembly the Palestinian Authority has permitted Hamas to stage in Nablus Thursday, West Bank Palestinians will be rallied to the united flag of “resistance.”
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 23, 2012, 3:11 PM (GMT+02:00)
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed to a ceasefire for halting the eight-day Gaza operation Wednesday night, Nov. 21, after President Barack Obama personally pledged to start deploying US troops in Egyptian Sinai next week. He said President Morsi had consented to the incoming troops going into immediate action against the Iranian smuggling networks. This means that the Gaza blockade is extended and the focus of combat moves from Gaza to Sinai.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 23, 2012, 4:11 AM (GMT+02:00)
The Hamas brought the Israeli offensive down on the Gaza Strip by pushing out the military envelope too far against Israel while it was still the weakest cog in Iran’s radical terror machine. When Obama learned of Khamenei’s design to convert the Gaza Strip into Iran’s southern front, he ...
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 18, 2012, 11:36 PM (GMT+02:00)
The trio conducting Israel’s Gaza operation are reexamining their plan to launch a ground offensive now in view of strong pressure from US President Barack Obama to desist - although he solidly supported the Israeli operation until now. Netanyahu, Barak and Lieberman are weighing three options: Sending troops into Gaza regardless; delaying ground action until Wednesday or: launching immediate ground sorties to test the ground. An Israeli delegation flew to Cairo when Obama insisted on giving failed truce talks another chance.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis November 17, 2012, 10:52 AM (GMT+02:00)
President Barack Obama, in a phone conversation with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu early Saturday, reiterated his support for Israel’s right to defend itself. He also spoke to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. Where does the sudden harmonious Obama-Netanyahu cooperation over the Gaza operation come from? debkafile: The US is using Israel’s Gaza operation to drag Iranian ruler Ali Khamenei to the negotiating table. Netanyahu hopes Obama will be led into a military confrontation with Iran. An Israeli ground operation is up to both.
DEBKAfile Special Report November 12, 2012, 3:28 PM (GMT+02:00)
Another shell landed near an Israeli position on the Golan Monday, Nov. 12, less than 24 hours after Damascus promised to silence the mortar battery responsible for “stray shells.” The promise came after Israel fired a Tamuz guided missile into Syria as a warning shot. Monday, Israeli tank fire knocked out the Syrian mortar battery. debkafile: Bashar Assad is provoking the Netanyahu government in the light of its restraint against heavy Palestinian missile fire from Gaza.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 9, 2012, 1:17 AM (GMT+02:00)
Barack Obama’s decision to go for direct talks with Iran comes too late to stop its nuclear program. He is left with bargaining over the size of the Iranian nuclear arsenal and its disposal with Ali Khamenei holding most of the high cards.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 9, 2012, 1:17 AM (GMT+02:00)
Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu kicks off his campaign for reelection in the January election on the wrong foot having played the losing horse in the US presidential election.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 1, 2012, 11:50 PM (GMT+02:00)
If France and Israel were to combine their air and sea assets, they could clobber Iran’s nuclear program without any other partners. However, neither is yet about to move in this direction without the United States, although their intelligence ties are in closer rapport than they are with US ...
DEBKAfile Special Report October 26, 2012, 6:24 PM (GMT+02:00)
Israel’s political parties are on the move and eyeing new alliances in the wake of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s surprise announcement of a merger between his Likud and Avigdor Lieberman’s Israel Beitenu ahead of the general election in January. Netanyahu is eying the brand new Future party headed by ex-journalist Yair Lapid as a third prospective partner in his post-election cabinet. Labor under its new leader Shelly Yachimovich is resurgent and on the lookout for satellites. But the new Likud Beitunu list is still front-runner.