DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 15, 2008
The high-tech entrepreneur carried 50% of the vote beating the ultra-religious Meir Porush by 9 points according to complete, unofficial results. Tel Aviv's Ron Huldai won a third term in office with 50.69%; his next rival Dov Kheinin carried 34% of the vote. Haifa also reelected its sitting mayor Yonah Yahav for a second term, defeating ex-police officer Yaacov Borovsky. In Beersheba, Yaakov Turner was defeated by his deputy, Rubik Danilevich (30:60.4), in Rishon Lezion, Meir Nitzan was ousted after 25 years as mayor (47.7%) by Dov Tzur (52.3%).
debkafile: The kernel of a new political generation was thrown up in a process expected to gather momentum in the general election of February 10, 2009.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 8, 2008
Georgian tanks and infantry, aided by Israeli military advisers, captured the capital of breakaway South Ossetia, Tskhinvali, early Friday, Aug. 8, bringing the Georgian-Russian conflict over the province to a military climax.
debkafile's geopolitical experts note that on the surface level, the Russians are backing the separatists of S. Ossetia and neighboring Abkhazia as payback for the strengthening of American influence in Georgia. However, more immediately, the conflict has been sparked by the race for control over the pipelines carrying oil and gas out of the Caspian region.
Jerusalem owns a strong interest in Caspian oil and gas pipelines reach the Turkish terminal port of Ceyhan, rather than the Russian network.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 7, 2008
Binyamin Netanyahu plans to contest the February 10, 2009 general election at the head of a remodeled Likud party and a star-studded leadership. He is angling for Benny Begin, Yair Shamir, Dan Meridor and Nathan Sharansky.
Read more in debkafile's Exclusive Report below.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 6, 2008
Binyamin Netanyahu introduced the returning son of legendary party founder the late PM Menahem Begin at a news conference in Tel Aviv Tuesday, Nov. 4. Saturday, Nov. 1, debkafile first revealed Benny Begin's decision to quit the civil service as a geologist and bid for a place on the Likud list for the Feb. 10 general election.
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DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 1, 2008
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In the past few weeks, Hizballah at the behest of Iran and Syria has commandeered the 7,800-foot Mt. Sannine, a strategic asset capable of determining the outcome of the next war, as DEBKA-Net-Weekly 356 revealed.
Radar-guided missile positions and an early warning station have since been deployed on its summit, which are capable of monitoring and threatening US Sixth Fleet movements in the eastern Mediterranean and Israel Air Force flights.
This development was serious enough for Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak to repeat three times in as many days that the IDF is keeping a close watch on events in the northern front, especially the deepening ties between Syria and the Lebanese Hizballah. Barak travels to Washington this week.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 1, 2008
The date was approved by a consensus of faction leaders in the Knesset Tuesday, Oct. 28 after president Shimon Peres announced that no lawmaker had proved capable of forming a viable government to complete the House's four-year term up until 2010. The Israeli parliament will dissolve itself next week.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 29, 2008
In his briefing to the cabinet's Sunday session, the head of AMAN, Israeli military intelligence Brig. Amos Yadlin brought out some harsh security developments.
In readiness for another Lebanon war, he warned, Hizballah has acquired rockets ten times more powerful than the hardware leveled against northern Israel in the 2006 Lebanon war. Whereas in 2006, the Lebanese terrorists shot rockets carrying 30 tons of explosives, next time, said Brig. Yadlin, the payloads would pack a 300-ton punch.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 29, 2008
The incident, just released for publication, occurred on Sept. 21, when Jamal Abu Douaba was helped by his confederates to steal across the Egyptian border south of the Gaza Strip to the southern Israeli Negev. He was on a mission to kidnap Israel soldiers by luring them to the border for a "profitable dope deal."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 27, 2008
The assailant stabbed a Police Border Guardsman who found him loitering around schools on Vardinon Street at the center of the southern Jerusalem suburb of Gilo. He then set upon 86-year old Avraham Ozri, a local resident, who died of his injuries later in hospital. A bystander wrestled the assailant to the ground after the injured policeman shot him and handed him into custody.
Riots greeted police and Shin Bet officers who arrived later at the terrorist's village near the West Bank town of Bethlehem to search for accomplices. Eight Palestinians were injured in clashes and several arrested.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 26, 2008
debkafile reports that Arab Internet sites, most of them Jordanian, claim that 10 days ago on Oct. 12, Meir Dagan, the head of Israel's external intelligence service, the Mossad, was targeted by assassins while visiting Amman. debkafile's sources have no knowledge of any visit by Meir Dagan to the Jordanian capital.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 25, 2008
Reserve Major Mattan Assa, 24, from Yavne, and Private Ilan Carmi, 19, Herzliya, were killed Wednesday, Oct. 22, when their training plan crashed 30 minutes after takeoff from the IAF's Hatzerim base near Beersheba. The plane, a French-made Fouga Magister, remodeled and renamed Zukit by the IAF, was on a low-flying exercise. No emergency signal was received by the control tower before the crash.
IAF commander Maj.-Gen Ido Nehushtan has set up a team of inquiry.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 20, 2008
Defense minister Ehud Barak has proposed in coalition talks with Kadima leader, foreign minister Tzipi Livni, that serious consideration be given to the 2002 Saudi plan which offered pan-Arab recognition of Israel in exchange for full Israeli withdrawal from all lands captured during the 1967 war: the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem and the Golan.
These comments, debkafile's Middle East sources stress, show how completely the defense minister is out of touch with the emerging dynamic of the contemporary Middle East. The Saudi peace plan is a dead letter for the Arab world, overtaken by tempestuous change.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 17, 2008
Jewish and Arab religious leaders of the northern Israeli town of Acre agreed to join hands to calm the outbreaks that roiled the northern Israeli town for four days. Also Monday, Oct. 13, Tawfiq Jemal, the Arab driver who triggered the Yom Kippur Eve riots was detained on suspicion of reckless driving above the legal speed, endangering lives and offending religious sensibilities. A reinforced police contingent of 700 officers stays in Acre to keep the peace
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 14, 2008
The upward trend followed the announcement in Washington Monday, Oct. 13, that the
Bush administration is preparing to buy ownership shares in banks. The takeover, part of the $700 bn bailout plan, is intended to help revive the flow of credit. Europe's central banks unveiled similar rescue operations to shore up the banks decided on a eurozone summit in Paris Sunday. Asian, UK and European markets, followed by Wall Street, responded by lifting prices.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 8, 2008
The White House spokeswoman said Tuesday, Oct. 7, that the US president wants to discuss with the British, French, Italian and German leaders ways of coordinating action " getting them all on the same page" to bring about market stability. Some of the markets in Europe, Asia and Israel began climbing out of their disastrous plunge Tuesday, Oct. 7. The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a bailout scheme for UK banks after their disastrous slump Tuesday.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 7, 2008
Caretaker prime minister Ehud Olmert will announce the transfer during his Moscow visit starting Monday, Oct. 6. His Kremlin talks are expected to focus on Russia's return to the Middle East as contributor to Iran's nuclear program and Syria's arms supplier. The picturesque site of Sergei's Courtyard in downtown Jerusalem houses Israeli government ministries. It was built in the early 20th century as part of the Russian Orthodox Church Compound as a grand lodging for visiting Russian royals.
The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel has petitioned the High Court of Justice to block the transfer.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 4, 2008
By extending the Mossad director, Meir Dagan's tenure for another year until the end of 2009, Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert has put in place a vital constituent for a possible eleventh-hour unilateral strike at Iran's nuclear facilities.
In his six years on the job, the 61-year old external intelligence has proved his covert mettle in a variety of counter-terror operations, graduating most recently to a highly successful intelligence coup leading up to the demolition of Syria's North Korean plutonium reactor in al Kebir last September.
Appointed by former prime minister Ariel Sharon in 2002, Dagan's first four years as the Mossad's tenth chief were dedicated to counterterrorism rather than tracking Iran's nuclear activities or monitoring Iran's burgeoning strategic ties with Syria and Hizballah.
From mid-2006, the former general shifted the agency's priorities to include these targets, while the Mossad continued to show its fearsome counter-terror paces in Damascus, Beirut and other Arab capitals.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 3, 2008
With scores of terror warnings current for the Jewish New Year starting sundown Monday, Sept. 9, a beefed up Jerusalem Border Police squad detained a Palestinian from the West Bank of Jenin early Monday, on his way to a knifing attack on the route leading to the Western Wall in the Old City. In his pockets were a large knife and letters stating his intention to be a "martyr."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 28, 2008
The gang of 7 Jerusalem Arab residents and one Palestinian were sought for the murder of two Israeli policemen, Rami Zohari and David Shriki, in two separate terror attacks in the city earlier this year. They were indicted at the Jerusalem district court ten days ago for murder, attempted murder, and gunrunning.
The gang, led by Muhammad Abu-Sneina, 21, from Anata, was arrested in advanced stages of preparing more murder, kidnap and shooting attacks in and outside Jerusalem.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 27, 2008
US Secretary of State Condoleezza said Friday Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comments are unacceptable. She said the UN Security Council shoud "deal with this now." Rice referred to the Iranian president's anti-Israel comments to the UN General Assembly Tuesday and his frequent calls for Israel to be wiped off the map.