DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 23, 2012
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 19, 2012
An Iranian freighter departed Bandar Abbas port Sunday, Nov. 18, with 220 short-range missiles and 50 improved long-range Fajar-5 rockets for the Gaza Strip, debkafile reports. The ship turned toward the Bab al-Mandeb Straits and the Red Sea. The new Fajar-5s have a 200-kilo warhead, packing a bigger punch than the 175 kilo-payload of the rockets now in use with the Palestinian terrorists of Gaza. Hamas has removed part of this payload to extend their range as far as Tel Aviv 85 kilometers away.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 18, 2012
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 Special Report November 15, 2012
The first three Palestinian missiles reached the Tel Aviv conurbation, Gush Dan, Thursday night, Nov. 15. shortly after a long-range missile exploded in Rishon Lezion southeast of Tel Aviv and sirens sounded in outlying towns of Holon, Ness Ziona, Gan Raveh and Beer Yacov. None report casualties or damage. Defense Minister Ehud Barak has ordered 30,000 army reservists drafted. The IDF spokesmen earlier reported units of the elite paratroop and Givati Brigades were mustering outside the Gaza Strip.
DEBKAfile Special Report November 14, 2012
The Palestinians fired 50 rockets from Gaza Wednesday night, Nov. 14 - of which Iron Dome intercepted 17 - after an Israeli air assault killed the Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari and destroyed dozens of missile sites. The rockets were fired at Beersheba, Ashdod and Eshkol, causing no casualties. Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi did not issue a statement on the Israeli operation, but recalled his ambassador from Tel Aviv and said Cairo would ask the UN Security Council to stop “Israeli aggression.”
DEBKAfile Special Report November 12, 2012
Most Palestinians groups met in Gaza City Monday night, Nov. 12, to approve a ceasefire after a three-day, 300-rocket assault on Israel. But the Salafists stayed away, instead firing 5 heavy Grad rockets against Netivot, Beersheba and Ofakim and taking delivery of a fresh load of Grads through the Sinai tunnels, assisted by Tehran’s proxy, Jihad Islam. Yet Israel, Egypt and even Hamas continued to delude themselves that a ceasefire can work - although Israel’s top command reckons it will collapse within days.
DEBKAfile Special Report November 12, 2012
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 Special Report November 11, 2012
Israel’s deteriorating security situation has erupted simultaneously on two fronts. Sunday, Nov. 11, the IDF fired a Tamuz precision guided missile at a Syrian mortar position as a warning after a stray mortar hit an Israel Golan defense post. It was the fourth incident in 10 days. On the Gaza front, the Palestinians shot Grad missiles at Beersheba – one was intercepted by Iron Dome – after shooting 60 missiles in less than 24 hours. They injured four Israeli soldiers Saturday, four civilians Sunday – apparent victims of Katyushas supplied by Hizballah.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 1, 2012
The Gulf emirs are competing for the favors of Gaza’s Hamas rulers while ready to drop Mahmoud Abbas of Ramallah.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 28, 2012
Less than 24 hours after Sudan’s Omar Bashir pledged “decisive steps against Israeli interests” for the destruction of the Iranian missile plant in Khartoum, Palestinian rocket teams early Sunday, Oct. 28, fired Grad missiles as target finders against Israel’s nuclear reactor in Dimona. This is reported exclusively by debkafile. They missed, but Hamas is expected to keep on trying to improve its aim, having undertaken to serve Tehran as its southern, anti-Israel operational arm, like Hizballah in the north.
DEBKAfile Special Report October 24, 2012
Defense minister Ehud Barak and Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz decided Wednesday, Oct. 24, to shift to the Gaza sector most of the personnel and anti-missile batteries taking part in the joint Israeli-US war game and home front exercise. This came after Palestinians in Gaza hammered Israeli civilian locations with 60 rockets in just a few hours. debkafile: IDF chiefs suspect the Hamas assault is the opening shot of a major offensive which Hizballah may be preparing to join. The US troop increment's fate is yet to be determined.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 22, 2012
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani of Qatar will not just be visiting the Gaza Strip as a benefactor but with a plan to extend the regional ambitions he launched by intervening in the Libyan revolt and the Syrian conflict. He hopes to shore Hamas up as a force for reining in Salafi and al Qaeda lawlessness in Sinai before it cuts into Qatari influence in Libya. Israel may be up against more than Islamist terrorists, but their Qatari sponsor too.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 12, 2012
Hassan Nasrallah’s threat Thursday night of more UAV’s over Israel aroused concern in the Israeli high command that Iranian drones had been smuggled into the hands of the Palestinian Hamas extremists ruling the Gaza Strip. The Hizballah leader implied that
Israeli air, tanks pound Gaza after massive Palestinian barrage. Hamas, Jihad threaten to broaden attacks
DEBKAfile Special Report October 8, 2012
Israeli warplanes and tanks attacked Hamas and Jihad Islami positions and command posts in the Gaza Strip early Monday, Oct. 8, shortly after Palestinians loosed 55 missiles and mortar shells on the Eshkol district. No casualties caused on the Israeli side, only heavy damage to property. Israel responded forcibly after the two dominant Gazan organizations lined up with al Qaeda affiliates. Both now threaten to broaden their assaults. Jihad says the next blow will come from Lebanon.
DEBKAfile Special Report October 6, 2012
Israeli intelligence and air force waged a cyber battle Saturday, Oct. 6 with unidentified parties, most likely Hizballah or Iran, which sent a satellite-guided unmanned helicopter into Israeli air space through the Mediterranean. debkafile reports exclusively: For 30 minutes, control of the helicopter swung back and forth between Israeli cyber operators and unknown agents over southern Israel. Finally, four Israeli F-16 fighters shot the trespasser down, the while Israeli cyber experts tried to identify its satellite controller.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 10, 2012
Gone are the days when Mahmoud A-Zahar, Gaza’s Hamas strongman, received a royal welcome in Tehran. When he arrived in the Iranian capital Sunday, Sept. 9 he found a chilly reception, although he brought with him in secret a large Hamas military delegation to persuade Iran’s leaders that Hamas could be trusted to pull its weight in reprisals for a potential Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear program. Tehran is nonetheless diverting support, arms and funding away from Hamas to the Jihad Islami.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 6, 2012
The initial Egyptian and Israeli accounts of the attacks in which 16 Egyptian soldiers were killed and the Israeli border crashed Sunday night, Aug. 5, don’t match up: Egypt points the finger at the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip; Israel at Sinai salafists. debkafile postulates a third option: Tehran may have harnessed its Gaza Strip proxies and a Sinai al Qaeda cell for coordinated attacks on Egyptian and Israeli military targets to avenge Al Qaeda’s enlistment to the Western-Arab-backed revolt against Bashar Assad.
DEBKAfile Special Report August 5, 2012
The Israeli Air Force struck two APCs seized by Sinai Salafis who first stormed an Egyptian post on the Egyptian-Israeli border Sunday night, Aug. 5, killing at least 15 Egyptian commandos, injuring many and kidnapping an unknown number. The gunmen then smashed the APCs through to the Kerem Shalom terminal. The one which got across was destroyed by the IAF. debkafile: This appears to be the first Sinai-based Islamist reprisal against Egyptian troops for an Israeli counter-terror operation in the Gaza Strip.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 24, 2012
Al Qaeda infiltrators from Libya are spearheading much of this month’s anti-Israel violence from Sinai and the Gaza Strip - a dangerous development Israel, Hamas, Egypt and the US prefer to conceal. It appears to tie in with the arrival of al Qaeda’s ex-Iraq fighters in Syria as part of its leader's master plan. Deeply concerned to check the spillover from Libya into Egypt, Cairo has posted its elite counter-terrorist “999 unit” in El Arish, on Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip and along the northern sector of its frontier with Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis June 20, 2012
At a particularly sensitive moment in Israeli-Egyptian relations, Israel’s military leaders were caught napping by the June 18 terrorist attack from Sinai on the southern Route 10, in which an Israeli fence team worker was killed. Because they were too slow to catch on to the identity of the perpetrators (al Qaeda), those military chiefs aimed their reprisals at the wrong quarters (Hamas and Jihad Islami) and so set off a three-day, still ongoing missile-for-air strike cycle in Gaza.