DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 15, 2011
Hours after Hamas accused Israel of engineering the murder of the abducted Italian pacifist Vittorio Arrigoni in the Gaza Strip Friday, April 15, two Grad missiles exploded in the port-towns of Ashdod and Ashkelon - just five days after Israel agreed to the Palestinian extremists' plea for a ceasefire. debkafile's counter-terror sources report that Hamas seized the opportunity to exploit the Italian's kidnap and murder by Al Qaeda's Al-Tahwir Al-Jihad to end the informal ceasefire.
DEBKAfile Special Report April 10, 2011
Israel has agreed to halting its military operations in Gaza in return for a partial Hamas ceasefire – a deal which represents the Netanyahu government's surrender to the Islamists' missile offensive against southwestern Israel. It has left intact Hamas's capabilities for striking Israeli heartland cities and given it a license to carry on attacking communities abutting the Gaza Strip. Despite the potential strategic edge offered by the new Iron Dome, most Israeli civilians within range remain exposed to missile and mortar attack.
DEBKAfile Special Report April 9, 2011
Saturday, April 9, Hamas and its allies, acting now on Hizballah guidelines from Lebanon, fired 24 heavy Grad missiles and more than 50 mortars shells at seven southern Israeli towns. At least 20 Israelis were injured or suffered shock. After the IDF killed 17 Hamas and other commanders, Hamas asked for a ceasefire through the UN and its political echelons. Israel replied the request would only be addressed if it came from Hamas military leaders who show no interest in holding their fire.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 8, 2011
Two Middle East powers strike out without the United States to foil the spread of weapons of mass destruction – Israel in Sudan; Saudi Arabia in Iran.
DEBKAfile Special Report April 4, 2011
Dirar Abu Asisi, the Gazan Palestinian who claims to have been abducted by Israel's secret service from the Ukraine, was charged before the Beersheba district court Monday, April 4, on 15 terror-related counts, including manufacturing and upgrading the range and capabilities of thousands of Grad and Qassam rockets launched from Gaza at Israeli towns and cities in recent years as well as anti-tank missiles. As commander of the military academy run by Hamas' armed wing, he was nicknamed Dr. Rocket.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis April 2, 2011
After weeks of rising tension, Israel and Hamas have taken a step towards a full-blown military confrontation: Saturday, April 2, an Israeli air strike killed three senior Hamas Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades gunmen in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli army spokesman said the operation pre-empted a major Palestinian terror-cum-kidnap campaign scheduled for Passover. Hamas warned Israel its "dangerous escalation" would have "consequences." debkafile's sources: The coming conflict will be influenced by the changing forces rising from current Arab unrest.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 23, 2011
The bomb which exploded Wednesday afternoon, March 23, near the No. 74 bus stop opposite Binyanei Haooma at Jerusalem's main northern entrance was detonated by remote control. It killed a female tourist and injured 30-40 passers-by and passengers. debkafile's counter-terror sources report that the attack was professionally executed by a team of three to five with local aid from Jerusalem Palestinians. Intelligence and terror experts are certain a terrorist organization activated trained bombers and may do so again.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 23, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, the second Grad missile hit Beersheba in 4 hours, 7 more mortar rounds exploded in the Eshkol district. debkafile: Hamas and Jihad Islami extremists feel free to shoot heavy missiles and dozens of mortar rounds at civilians in Israeli towns and villages, bucked up by support from post-Mubarak Egypt, Mahmoud Abbas' pursuit of Palestinian reconciliation and, most of all, by Israeli leaders' hesitancy to shoot them down because they are still playing by the old, pre-Arab Revolt rules.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 19, 2011
Israeli living near Gaza woke up Saturday, March 19, to the most massive mortar attack in years – 50 rounds fired in 15 minutes. Two civilians were injured and substantial damage caused to property. Hamas has unusually claimed responsibility, emboldened by the support it has won from a new ally, Egypt, which is also forging new ties with Syria - and the Netanyahu government's disregard of the changing winds blowing in from Egypt including Cairo's de facto recognition of Hamas rule in Gaza.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 14, 2011
Though divided between Hamas-ruled Gaza and Fatah-ruled Ramallah, the Palestinians are holding protests in both places against both their governments Tuesday, March 15, demanding that they heal the rift and reconnect the two territories.
debkafile's military sources report that Israel's military and police are on the highest state of preparedness lest the demonstrators storm out of Palestinian towns on the West Bank and Gaza Strip and rampage against nearby Israeli communities and towns.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 12, 2011
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas received a stern ticking-off when he called Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Saturday, March 12, to condemn the savage murder Friday night by Palestinian terrorists of the parents and three small children of an Israeli family while they slept at their home at Itamar on the West Bank. The Prime Minister, knowing Abbas had quietly tipped Fatah heads to endorse the perpetrators, accused him of hypocrisy. Does Abbas want to stir up another Palestinian uprising?
DEBKAfile Special Report March 10, 2011
An annual intelligence report to Congress has dropped language stating that Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions are a future option and speaks in terms of the present, indicating a radical switch in US policy on Iran. As rocketing oil prices triggered by Arab uprisings wiped out the sanctions damage to Iran, Washington confirmed the worst Saudi and Israeli suspicions that Barack Obama had come to terms with a nuclear-armed Iran, after the US long restrained Israel from nipping this menace in the bud.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis March 7, 2011
Defense Minister Ehud Barak has joined the foreign and domestic chorus pushing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to launch a fresh initiative to end the stalemate in the peace process with the Palestinians. debkafile's analysts advise Netanyahu to hold his horses until the Arab revolt is better defined and the shape of the Palestinian leadership and state emerging from the Middle East turmoil is clearer. Arab protesters are ignoring Israel and, for now, its conflict with the Palestinians is a non-issue.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 4, 2011
The prospects of Egypt resuming its gas supplies to Israel dropped to zero Thursday, March 3 when Egypt's state security prosecutor Abdel Magid Mahmud announced that deposed president Hosni Mubarak would be summoned for questioning next week about allegedly corrupt deals for selling Israel Egyptian gas at knock-down prices, debkafile's Cairo sources report. He also plans to issue arrest warrants against Israeli and American partners in EMG, the firm set up jointly for the gas deal. The military rulers are not interfering.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 24, 2011
Israel's security leaders ought not to have been surprised when Hamas fired two long-range Iranian-made Grad missiles Wednesday night, Feb. 23 at the Negev cities of Beersheba and Netivot. The attack occurred exactly when Iranian Navy commander Adm. Habibollah Sayyari was due in Syria's Latakia port to attend the welcoming party for the two Iranian warships which made it through the Suez Canal without US or Israeli interference. It also marked a fresh, redoubled Hamas offensive against Israel.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 19, 2011
The two Iranian warships transited the Suez Canal and have reached the Mediterranean, Iran state TV announced Sunday, Feb. 20. Cairo is still saying they will sail only Monday. debkafile reports Tehran and Cairo have connived fake delays to obscure the ships' movements. Egypt's military rulers' permission for their passage was not contingent on an inspection of their freights for banned cargo. Sunday, the region was beset with a sandstorm which would have masked the flotilla from spy satellites.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 18, 2011
Without serious aforethought, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak waved through another 3,000 Egyptian troops into North Sinai, raising their number to 4,000 and virtually scrapping the key demilitarization clause of the 1979 peace treaty. No conditions were laid down and no timeline or operational limits set, debkafile's sources report. Israel asked the military rulers in Cairo – directly and through Washington - to deny Iranian warships passage through the Suez Canal – but was ignored.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 18, 2011
The US and Israel made the same mistake of using Intelligence Minister Omar Suleiman as their single line of information on Egypt - and were caught napping. They are still woefully wanting on Egyptian political and military intelligence.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 16, 2011
Twenty-four hours after Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the Egyptian upheaval had no military connotations for Israel, the Iranian frigate Alvand and cruiser Kharg transited the Suez Canal on their way to Syria. Wednesday night, Feb. 16, their passage was termed "a provocation" by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. In Beirut, Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah said he was looking forward to Israel going to war on Lebanon because then his men would capture Galilee.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 14, 2011
The message Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint US Chiefs of Staff, brought Israel Sunday, Feb. 13, was that the 1979 peace accord with Egypt is not in jeopardy. He tried giving this assurance to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Gen. Benny Gantz - who became Israel's 20th chief of staff Monday. Both sides ignored Egyptian opposition leader Ayman Nour's comment: Camp David is finished. Gen. Gantz has the job of overhauling the IDF for five fronts.