DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 11, 2008
While Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas promised to keep on negotiating during the run-up to Israel's election, debkafile reports the current lull - due to political changes in the US and Israel - is likely to continue until early next year.
The negotiations led by outgoing prime minister Ehud Olmert and Livni have been conducted until now amid a media blackout, eliciting concerned questions in Israel about "how much they have given away in secret."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 7, 2008
debkafile's Exclusive Middle East sources reveal that not only has prime minister Ehud Olmert's chief of staff and lead negotiator with Syria, Yoram Turbowicz, decided to resign, but Syrian foreign minister Walid Mualem, the leading proponent of talks with Israel in Damascus, is also on his way out.
Turkey, envisaging the breakdown of its initiative, has hared off in a new direction, a bid to mediate between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 28, 2008
Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert told visiting US Senator Barack Obama Wednesday night, July 23 that within little more than a year, Iran would be able to assemble all the components for a nuclear bomb. Earlier, senior Israeli defense sources reported that Iran is set to receive Russian S-300 anti-air missiles for fighting off strikes against its nuclear facilities by early September, seriously complicating any air attack.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 28, 2008
Masses of weapons and explosives are cached in the Palestinian villages and districts of Jerusalem, where three Palestinian terrorist networks are working together to coordinate attacks in the city, according to security-intelligence sources. According to debkafile's security sources, the Galilee Liberation Brigades - Imad Mughniyeh fighters, an offshoot of the Lebanese Hizballah among Israeli Arabs, works hand in glove with the fiercely radical Hizb al-Tahir and Hamas.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 27, 2008
The internal security agency director Yuval Diskin told Israeli lawmakers Tuesday, July 22, that he opposed the Gaza ceasefire the Israeli government approved with Hamas - and continues to oppose it - because it gave Hamas what it wanted. Diskin warned that Hamas is using the time to sow minefields to stall an Israeli counter-terror operation.
In a briefing to Knesset foreign affairs and defense committee, Diskin said Hamas' military buildup can only be curbed by an Israeli military presence in the Strip.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 27, 2008
A quick-thinking passing civilian and a border guard officer shot the driver dead Tuesday, July 22, after five vehicles and a bus were rammed opposite the Liberty Bell Park, 200 yards from King David Hotel. At least 29 people were hurt, one seriously. Two are children.
The Hizballah-sponsored Galilee Liberation Brigades claimed this attack like the first bulldozer rampage of July 2.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 26, 2008
The second Palestinian terrorist-attack-by-bulldozer in Jerusalem this month, whereby an Arab terrorist injured 18 people before he was shot dead, took place Tuesday, July 22. And still the Israeli government dithered over whether or not to demolish the home of the originator of this form of rampage, who on July 2 sowed death and destruction on Israel's Jaffa Street.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Exclusive: "Moderate" Arab rulers woo Tehran and Damascus, following track opened by Washington<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 17, 2007
Monday night, Dec. 10 an Egyptian emissary was sent to Iran to discuss the resumption of relations after 27 years. debkafile's Middle East sources report that this step was part of an initiative for Saudi Arabian, Jordanian and Egyptian leaders to come together in a new summit to embrace the Syrian ruler and bridge their policy differences with the radical Syrian-Tehran line.
debkafile's Middle East sources report: The road to radicalization embarked on by this central Arab bloc is the direct result of the dialogue Washington has opened with Tehran.
"We extend the hand of peace on behalf of all the nations of the region," say Egyptian and Jordanian foreign ministers in Jerusalem Wednesday<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 28, 2007
debkafile reports: Ahmed Aboul Gheit and Ilah al-Khatib, representing the only two Arab governments which have signed peace with Israel, pointedly avoided issuing this statement on behalf of the Arab League, which has never recognized Israel. However, in their talks with Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, they pushed forward the League's Middle East peace plan.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> reports: Iranian Revolutionary Guards suicide unit's incursion of S. Iraq is another step in undeclared war <br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 2, 2007
Early this week, Tehran deployed in southern Iraq and southern Iran contingents of Revolutionary Guards Corps suicide fighters in anticipation of an American attack on Iranian soil. Those units were posted to fight off a possible US Marines landing in southern Iran.
debkafile's military experts add: The Iranian military incursion of Iraq is one of four military invasions of foreign territory underway in the Middle East at this very moment. None are officially admitted.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Exclusive: Israel adopts US decision to switch backing from Mahmoud Abbas to Palestinian PM Salim Fayyad <br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 27, 2007
Ahead of the Sharm al Sheikh summit, the Olmert cabinet decided Sunday, June 24, to release frozen funds "in a phased process to support a new Palestinian government" - not the Palestinian Authority, which is headed by Mahmoud Abbas.
According to debkafile's Washington sources, Ehud Olmert switched his support from Abbas to Fayyad after talking to President George W. Bush in the White House on June 19. That conversation took place amid a crisis of confidence.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span>: Arab summit ending in Riyadh strengthens radical Iran and Syria and recognizes Palestinian Hamas<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 1, 2007
The conference ending Thursday, March 29, ended the isolation of the two Middle East governments backing anti-US fighting elements in Iraq, fomenting Hizballah's war effort against Israel and aiding Palestinian terror.
The Arab front, portrayed by American and Israeli policy-makers as an effective "moderate" barrier against Iranian expansionism and nuclear aspirations, jumped aboard the radical bandwagon.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 27, 2006
The two-day 18th Arab League Summit opening in Khartoum Tuesday, March 28, looks like being a semi-washout. The rulers who announced their non-attendance were Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, Tunisia's Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and Oman's Sultan Qaboos.
The Arab foreign ministers who laid out the agenda and drafted final resolutions agreed on one issue: deep resentment of the US-Iranian dialogue on Iran. The two powers had no business discussing Iraq directly without co-opting a representative Arab voice, they declared.
For lack of leverage on all the prime issues confronting the Arab world, Iraq, Lebanon, Darfur, the Palestinians, the ill-attended Arab summit can do little but stand by and watch while others make the running.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 21, 2005
21 June: By Monday night, June 20, rumors were swirling around Tehran that Iran's non-elected strongman, Ayatollah Ali Khameni had found a way of rigging the presidential election. Round one took place last Friday, June 17, and the run-off is scheduled for Friday, June 24. The favorite, former president Hashemi Rafsanjani, barely pulled ahead of a contestant who popped up out of the blue, the extremist Tehran mayor Mahmud Ahmadinez. He faces him again on Friday.
Rafsanjani, speaking of a "tarnished" election, was not alone. The Guardian Council was forced by more such accusations to allow a recount of 100 randomly selected vote boxes in between rounds.
debkafile's Iranian experts maintain that "spiritual ruler" Khameini would never have left the presidential election to chance. A special brew must have been cooked up in his bureau for a near nonentity like Ahmadinez to pick up 5.7 million votes compared with the charismatic former president Rafsanjani's 6.1 million ballots.
Reformist candidate Dr. Mostafa Mo-In, who came in fifth, accused the all-powerful body of spending millions to mobilize hundreds of thousands of Islamic militiamen to get a hardliner president voted in. By any true standards, Mo-In should have done much better in a country where half the electorate is under 30 and pining for a better life and democratic liberties.
Another complainer was former majlis speaker Hojjat-ol Eslam Mahdi Karrubi, a reformist candidate widely expected to place second. He was blunter than Mo-In, charging a general call-up had been arranged on voting day for Revolutionary Guards officers, men and reservists who were sent to cast their ballots for the Tehran mayor.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 8, 2005
The most significant feature of the four-way summit that took place on Tuesday, February 8, at the Egyptian Red Sea resort to Sharm el-Sheikh, was that it was the first time in Israel's 57 years' life that one of its leaders was asked to join three Arab rulers at any forum without outside mediators or an international aegis. The key to this unique event was embodied in President George W. Bush's directive Thursday night, February 3, to secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, not to show up at the Middle East summit. The European Union followed her lead, as did Arab leaders who planned to attend like the King of Morocco, the emir of Qatar and the Tunisian president. Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, the newly-elected Palestinian Authority chairman, Mahmoud Abbas - Abu Mazen, Jordan's King Abdullah and their beaming host, President Hosni Mubarak, were thus thrown together alone and confronted with the task of forging a form of accord.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 21, 2004
Shortly before the October 7 Sinai bombings at Taba and Nueiba, inhabitants of the Israeli Red Sea resort of Eilat noticed some strange goings-on across the bay in the Jordanian port city of Aqaba. The answer to the riddle was not long coming. One morning, they awoke to the sight of an enormous flag flying from a 136 meter- (446 foot) high pole. The flag, measuring 80 meters (262 feet) by 44 meters (144 feet), was almost the size of an American football field, a towering presence even against the backdrop of the 1,200 meter (3,900 feet) -high mountains behind Aqaba. It was the flag of the Hashemites. Through the many upheavals and disasters visited on them, the Hashemites never gave up their claim of common descent with the Prophet or their vision of returning to their roots, the Hijaz, now the western Red Sea province of Saudi Arabia.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 13, 2004
The Israeli government is getting ready to offer down payments to voluntary evacuees from 21 Gaza settlements and four West Bank locations that Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon plans to remove by the end of 2005. This move is designed to stimulate departures and jump the gun on two major delaying factors: the cabinet only approved the Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon's disengagement outline; voting on settlement removals is not due until March 2005 and then it will be piecemeal. Secondly, compensation to departing settlers entails long and tiresome legislation, whereas down payments do not. Broad hints that the first comers will get the best deal have been thrown out already. The bargaining is clearly about to begin.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 22, 2004
A shrinking elite of Arab rulers gathered for their delayed annual summit in Tunis Saturday, May 22, amid a shared sense that it might be their last. Out of 22 Arab League members, thirteen were represented by gloomy heads of state and three by prime ministers. The others sent junior representatives instead of attending for what used to be a striking demonstration of unity and strength by a powerful world bloc. Libyan ruler Muammar Qaddafi stayed half an hour into the opening session, then got up and left. He thus showed his opinion of the occasion that was grandly billed as a show of regional unity on the occupation of Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and political reform in the Arab world.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 18, 2004
Manmade barriers are springing up around the Middle East at points where manmade conflicts are most intractable. Be they security fences, earthworks, moated ramparts, steel walls, razor wire - or combinations thereof, their purpose is to apply division and separation to breaking up difficulties into manageable elements. Will this device work? Some think it's worth a try. Israeli forces who drove into the southern Gaza Strip town of the terrorist hotbed of Rafah's Tel Sultan early Tuesday, May 18, came with giant engineering corps bulldozers. Earth banks were speedily thrown up to isolate from their environment the spaces in which Israeli armored and infantry units are hunting for wanted terrorists, cut off their escape routes and provide perches for Israeli snipers lying in wait for escapees.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 28, 2004
The partial reports filtering out of Damascus indicate that the large-scale terrorist attack carried out Tuesday night, April 27, in the al Maza diplomatic quarter of the Syrian capital - a simultaneous car bomb, machine gun, grenade, rocket assault on several targets that set UN offices on fire and singled out the Canadian embassy - has brought the encroaching global terror warfront dangerously close to Israel. Earlier on the same day, the new Saudi network leader, Abdulaziz al-Muqrin, on a newly-released audio tape threatened fiercer than ever attacks this year against "the Jews, the Americans and the Crusaders." He promised that Saudi Arabia would not be able to protect US interests. But "the Jews" topped his list of targets.