<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Exclusive: Olmert sounds alarm: Iran has crossed red line for developing a nuclear weapon. It's too late for sanctions<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 30, 2007
This is the message prime minister Ehud Olmert carried urgently to French President Nicolas Sarkozy Monday and will deliver to British premier Gordon Brown Tuesday, according to debkafile's military and intelligence sources.
Last week, Israel's defense minister Ehud Barak presented this updated intelligence to American officials in Washington, including President Bush.
Relics of Solomon's Temple uncovered for the first time in a sealed layer on Temple Mount, Jerusalem<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 28, 2007
Undisturbed since circa 800 B.C.E., the layer yielded fragments of bowls and shards decorated in the style of the First Temple Period, the base and handle of a small jug used to ladle oil, the rim of an oil storage jar and animal bone.
They may be the relics of a sacrificial rite held in the First Temple built by King Solomon in the 10th century B.C.E.
Jerusalem regional archeologist Jon Seligman said the find could finally help scholars place Solomon's Temple at its precise location and reconstruct its dimensions for the first time.
Barak's talks in Washington focus on upgrade of Israel's anti-missile capabilities against Iran, Syria, Hizballah and Palestinians<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 22, 2007
Ehud Barak, on his first visit to Washington as Israel's defense minister, met Vice President Dick Cheney Wednesday night, Oct. 17, and is scheduled to call in at the White House Thursday to meet with National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 22, 2007
Olmert, deputy defense minister Matan Vilnai, chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi and air force chief Maj. Gen. Eliezer Shkedi, who also commands the Iranian war sector, were briefed Tuesday, Oct. 16, on the preparedness of Arrow missile defense batteries for a possible war contingency. debkafile's military sources report the unit recently acquired a third Arrow battery and so completed its deployment for a potential simultaneous attack from the east by Iran and the north by Syria.
Sgt. Ben Kubani, 20, from Hadera, killed in action in IDF counter-terror operation near Khan Younes, S. Gaza<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 18, 2007
Sgt. Kubani of the Golani Brigade died in hospital Wednesday from wounds he sustained under Palestinian anti-tank fire. Earlier, the Israeli Air Force struck a group of armed Palestinians approaching the unit operating against terrorist targets close to the border in the southern Gaza Strip. A Hamas gunman was killed as he fired an anti-tank missile at the Israeli force. Ten Palestinians, members of Jihad Islami, were injured, 15 detained.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 16, 2007
Even if Hizballah has given Israel documents in the handwriting of the long-missing Israeli navigator Ron Arad, as claimed by a Lebanese newspaper, they still may not clear up the mystery of the fate which befell him after his capture 21 years ago.
Israeli intelligence has long concluded that, after Ron Arad ejected from an Israeli fighter-bomber in 1986 during Lebanon's civil war, the Amal Shiite group (headed by Lebanese parliament speaker Nabih Berri) who captured him passed him to Iran, where he was imprisoned for an unknown period.
Iran has always denied this; any materials and statements emanating from Hizballah are bound to support this contention.
According to debkafile's intelligence sources, today's Hassan Nasrallah is not the powerful figure he was at the time of the 2005 exchange. Tehran has taken Hizballah's military and intelligence functions out of his hands and passed them to its trusted minion, the master terrorist Imad Mughniyeh, confining Nasrallah to the movement's political department and its domestic Lebanese policy.
Decisions on prisoner swaps with Israel, including the fate of the Israeli soldiers Regev and Goldwasser, whose kidnap by Hizballah triggered the 2006 Lebanon War, are therefore up to Tehran - not Beirut.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span>: Olmert's ministers float improbable fantasies as facade for non-progress in his dialogue with Palestinian leader Abbas<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 11, 2007
Dep. prime minister Haim Ramon proposed Monday, Oct. 8, ahead of the prime minister's address to the opening of the Knesset's winter session, that Israel reject the Palestinian principle of the "right of return" (of the 1948 refugees) and offer instead the yardstick of "compassion and mercy."
Last week Ramon floated another plan: to hand control of Jerusalem's Jewish, Christian and Muslim holy places, including Temple Mount, to an international commission.
Minister for strategic threats Avigdor Lieberman proposes trading Jerusalem's Arab neighborhoods for West Bank Jewish settlement blocs.
Winograd panel will next week announce its decision on assigning personal responsibility in Lebanon War
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 10, 2007
Earlier, debkafile exposed reports that the Winograd panel will not finger the prime minister in its final report on mishandling of Lebanon War were baseless.
The false reports were deliberately disseminated Monday, Oct. 8, the day before prime minister Ehud Olmert faced a fraud squad interrogation on his role in the 2005 Bank Leumi privatization deal.
A Winograd committee source speaking to debkafile Tuesday refused to comment on the reports, calling them "unofficial and not from any committee source."
First extended-range Palestinian missiles to hit Negev town of Netivot early Sunday identified as Russian-made Grad 20-km range surface missile<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 10, 2007
No one was hurt by the four-missile salvo, one of which exploded 90 meters from the town's western houses. Also attacked Sunday were Sderot and a number of kibbutzim bordering on Gaza by four Qassam missiles and 12 mortar shells, which damaged a house in Kerem Shalom.
debkafile's military sources say that whereas until now, the Palestinian organizations their Israeli neighbors from Gaza with Qassam missiles whose maximum range is 10 km, Sunday, Oct. 7 they extended their radius by firing 20-km Grad missiles able to reach towns farther afield and more substantial than Sderot:
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 5, 2007
While Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas was immersed this week in dead-end dialogue with Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, in obedience to the United States and European powers, the Hamas applied the finishing touches to a single integrated armed force by merging its armed branches with the former Palestinian Authority security and intelligence factions which ruled the Gaza Strip until the Hamas takeover in June.
From this week, either Hamas members or Fatah defectors man all the command positions and departments of a 40,000-strong armed militia which is provided with military bases, large arsenals, armored personnel carriers, sophisticated communications and intelligence networks - most made in the US - and a logistic infrastructure befitting a regular army.
Gen. Tawfiq Jabar, late of Fatah and now a card-carrying Hamas member, has been named commander of the Gaza Strip's integrated Palestinian force.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 30, 2007
The same day saw the Jewish pilgrimage festival of Succoth, prayers on Temple Mount on the third Friday of Ramadan and mass attendance at the funeral of former Chief Rabbi Avraham Elkana Shapira on the Mt. of Olives opposite the shrine,
Thousands of police were called up to guard jam-packed places of worship, including the Western Wall and try to control the heavy traffic streaming into Jerusalem.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 27, 2007
This step is in line with the government's declaration last week to declare Hamas-ruled Gaza hostile territory. A senior Palestinian banking source says if more Israeli banking institutions follow this lead, Gaza's banks will shut down.
Attorney general orders criminal probe against Israeli PM Ehud Olmert <br/>over purchase of Jerusalem house in 2004<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 26, 2007
AG Menachem Mazuz has found grounds for suspicions that a friend bribed Olmert, who was then minister of industry, labor and commerce, by selling him a luxury apartment at a discount of half a million dollars below its market value in return for favors on illegal building permits.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 25, 2007
It was decided Sunday, Sept. 23, at the Israeli government meeting in Jerusalem, as a gesture to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in honor of the Muslim Eid al Fitr which ends Ramadan. The security cabinet convened later to approve the list of Palestinian members of Fatah to be released.
The decision was opposed by transport minister Shaul Mofaz, former holder of the defense portfolio, who argued that it was wrong because the freed Palestinian terrorists would go back to their old ways. debkafile adds: Some of the terrorists rounded up in the Nablus Beit El Ilma camp last week had been set free in recent weeks as a concession to boost Abbas' popularity on the West Bank.
In matters of national security, we have learned not to be misled by false calm - Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 25, 2007
At the state ceremony marking the 34th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, Barak said the battle against terror goes on, but we will prevail. The fighters of the present generation are the equals of their fathers.
The IDF's deterrent strength and its will to win are the best guarantee for peace, said Barak at the state ceremonies held in the Mt Herzl national cemetery in Jerusalem Sunday, in memory of the 2,691 Israeli soldiers who fell in the October 1973 War.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 24, 2007
A Palestinian from the West Bank town of Nablus, employed in a Tel Aviv restaurant, led Israeli Shin Bet security forces to the hiding place of a bomb belt in Tel Aviv. Thursday, the suicide bomber was captured with his Hamas controler in the Beit Ein Ilma camp in Nablus after a week-long Israeli operation in which an Israeli soldier was killed. The force also turned up a large Hamas explosives workshop and blew it up.
The Israeli cabinet brands Hamas' rule of Gaza a "hostile entity." US Secretary Rice supports step<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 22, 2007
The Israeli security cabinet's decision Wed. Sept 19 paves the way for the cutoff of supplies, including electricity, fuel, water to the 1.5 million Palestinians of the Gaza Strip which was seized by Hamas in June. Condoleezza Rice said that for the US, Hamas is indeed a hostile entity as well, at a joint news conference in Jerusalem with FM Tzipi Livni.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Exclusive: The Israeli jets said to have penetrated Syrian airspace Wednesday night escaped by jamming Russian-made Pantsyr-S1 air defens
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 18, 2007
debkafile's military experts conclude from the way Damascus described the episode that the Pantsyr-S1 missiles were a letdown because they failed to down the intruders and therefore leave Syria and Iranian airspace vulnerable to hostile intrusion.
Such information on the Russian weapons systems sold to both countries is essential to any US calculations of whether to attack Iran.
Syria and Iran took delivery in mid-August of 10 batteries of sophisticated Russian Pantsyr-S1 Air Defense Missile fire control system with advanced radar and "absolute jamming immunity" to protect their strategic installations, those sources report. They had just been installed in Syria.
A Syrian spokesman said the Israeli plane or planes which entered northeast Syria from the Mediterranean were forced to leave by air defense fire after "dropping its ammunition." Understanding that the Pantsyr-21 had failed to repulse the intruding craft, Moscow hastened Thursday to officially deny selling the systems to Syria or Iran and called on Israel to respect international law. This was diplomatic-speak for a warning against attacking the Russian-made missiles batteries stations where Russian instructors are working alongside Syrian teams.
More on this episode in debkafile's Exclusive Military Report below.
Sixty-nine Israeli soldiers injured when three missiles launched from Gaza hit their boot camp early Tuesday. Ministers demand serious military action
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 17, 2007
Four of the new recruits were seriously injured, two critically, from shrapnel and blast. One of the Qassams exploded in an empty tent in the Zikkim facility north of Gaza; a second outside the mess tent full of soldiers on their last day of basic training. Jihad Islami and the Popular Resistance Committees claimed responsibility. Israel is pondering a large-scale military response to stamp out the seven-year Palestinian missile campaign once and for all and the cutoff of supplies and services to the Gaza Strip. Israeli air and ground forces meanwhile executed pinpoint strikes at missile sites in N. Gaza. Palestinians fired celebratory shots in the mosques.
Barak: We are heading for a major ground operation to stamp out Palestinian missile attacks and curb the Hamas military buildup
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 10, 2007
This statement came Wednesday, Sept. 5, from Israel's defense minister at meeting of security chiefs after a special defense cabinet session on ways to halt the Qassam missile barrage from Gaza.
debkafile's military sources say the first part of the operation has begun.
Wednesday, Sept 5, Israeli forces were present in N. Gaza in sufficient strength to catch and destroy 11 missile launchers ready to go, which debkafile also reports Iranian smuggling rings had spirited into Gaza through Sinai.
Tuesday, debkafile disclosed exclusively that Israel had warned Egypt of military action to recapture the Philadelphi route bordering Egypt to halt the illicit traffic - part two of the operation.