DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 3, 2008
The new weapon, of the Katyusha type used by the Lebanese Hizballah against northern Israel, was fired for the first time by Palestinians from Gaza Tuesday, June 3. It landed on open ground in Shaar Henegev.
The newly smuggled 107 mm weapon carries a 8 kg payload - bigger than the Qassam missile with about the same 9 km range - drastically escalates the Hamas-led war against the southwestern Israeli population. For the first time, the Palestinian terrorists have acquired a weapon launched from a vehicle.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 29, 2008
Shin Bet director Yuval Diskin reported to Israel's weekly cabinet meeting Sunday, May 25, on Hamas' rapidly expanding arsenal. He said it is only a question of time before Palestinian rockets from Gaza fly past Ashkelon to Israel's main port of Ashdod, 25 km south of Tel Aviv and the town of Kiryat Gat, 30 km further south. Hamas, in Diskin's view, is unlikely to accept a ceasefire.
Internal security minister Avi Dichter divulged the mechanism whereby the Israeli taxpayer indirectly bankrolls Hamas.
Palestinian suicide truck packed with 4.5 tons explosives - most powerful ever - blows up outside Gaza-Israel crossing<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 25, 2008
debkafile's counter-terror sources report that the truck bomb containing 4.5 tons of explosives was the most powerful ever used against Israel - even in the darkest days of the Palestinian terrorist campaign. The explosion occurred early Thursday, May 22, on the Gaza side of the border, 50 meters short of the Erez crossing. It caused no Israeli casualties, but wrecked the border terminal, blasted a big hole in the border wall and shattered windows in Israel buildings.
debkafile's military sources report Israeli forces quickly roped off a large sector outside northern Gaza as a closed military zone to search for infiltrators.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 20, 2008
Jerusalem police have rounded up another 6 Palestinians at the Shufat camp of northern Jerusalem in a second sweep for illicit weapons and explosives. Shufat's 10,000 inhabitants bear Israeli resident's IDs with social benefits. In the first raid of the camp on May 5, debkafile disclosed that large quantities of pistols, hand grenades, stun grenades, ammo and military equipment as well as LAW anti-tank rockets were impounded.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 18, 2008
Once again, after two previous successes, Hamas proved Saturday, April 19 it was capable of ramming through Israel's border defenses against the Gaza Strip. This time, Israeli troops acted expeditiously and boldly enough to prevent a major Palestinian breakthrough at the Kerem Shalom crossing and fatal casualties. Thirteen members of the Southern Command's Bedouin Desert Patrol Battalion were injured, none of them seriously.
These troops performed their mission of foiling a Hamas killing-cum-kidnap rampage, although they were not armed with advance warning or the anti-tank weapons for dealing with the Palestinian group's two armored personnel carriers and two explosives-packed jeeps.
The attack testified graphically that Hamas' movements and plans in the Gaza Strip are a closed book for the Israeli army's operational intelligence.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 18, 2008
debkafile's military sources report: A barrage of 6 Qassam missiles wase fired in two volleys at Sderot. One hit the Neve Shalom synagogue near a nursery school. Several people were treated for shock. The rest landed around Shear Hanegev, starting fires. Thursday morning, May 15, a Grad (Katyusha) rocket was aimed at the town of Netivot east of the Gaza Strip, the day after a rocket wrecked the Ashkelon shopping mall and injured 100 people. This time it fell short and exploded on open ground. Netivot has now been connected to the Red Color alert system.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 14, 2008
Israeli units around Gaza, including the air force, are on the highest alert, debkafile's military sources report, for Palestinian terror groups to follow up their rocket attack on the Ashkelon shopping mall, which injured 77 civilians, with more aggressive actions. Aside from rocket fire, according to our sources, Hamas is planning to stage mass marches Thursday, May 15, to batter the Gaza-Israel border crossings and fence.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 9, 2008
A joint Israeli military-border police raid of the northern Jerusalem Palestinian district turned up a large secret weapons cache Monday, May 5. Seven men were arrested on suspicion of engaging in terrorism and arms trafficking. debkafile's military sources report this was Israel's first large-scale counter-terror operation in the Jerusalem municipal area.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 6, 2008
The Palestinian mother and four children who died in the middle of clashes in the Gaza town of Beit Hanoun April 28 were killed in secondary blasts from explosives carried by four Palestinian gunmen near their home. A video clip released by the Israeli army spokesman Friday, May 2, taken by a drone overhead, shows that the Israeli air force only hit the gunmen.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 2, 2008
The Israeli cabinet session opened Tuesday, April 29, in Jerusalem with prime minister Ehud Olmert voicing deep regret for the deaths of 4 Palestinian children and their mother in Bet Hanoun Monday, which two generals have been directed to investigate. He said he also regretted the Palestinian missiles hurting Israeli children and most of all, the Palestinians custom of mounting attacks out of populated areas so bringing their own innocents in harm's way too. As he spoke, 10 missiles were aimed at Sderot and kibbutzim from Gaza, 18 Monday.
The family died when two Palestinians carrying arms and large bags of explosives were hit near the family's home in Beit Hanoun by an Israeli air attack.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 1, 2008
The tank crew was unhurt by the blast which hit their vehicle Tuesday, April 29, between the Gaza border and Netiv Ha'asara. debkafile's military sources report that the incident demonstrates once again that Palestinian terrorists have no difficulty in breaching the Gazan border
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 29, 2008
After breaching the border fence opposite Kissufim Saturday night, April 26, the two Palestinians, armed and wearing flak vests, were seen heading east. Until they were caught, Israelis living in the area were told to stay indoors. This is the fourth time in two weeks that Palestinian terrorists broke through the border fence.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 28, 2008
debkafile publishes here for the first time details of the Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' master plan for wrecking Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations. The project is called the "2008 Return"
Its highlights are disclosed here with debkafile's comments.
The Palestinian leader has circulated guidelines for three million Palestinians to leave their homes on the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon on May 14 and march on Israel's borders, including the Green Line. The march is to take place a week after Israel's Independence Day on May 8, 2008. If Israel obstructs their passage, they will strike camp and live in tents until Israel surrenders and lets them through.
debkafile's Palestinian sources report that Mahmoud Abbas intends to submit his ambitious master plan to the summit of Arab rulers meeting in Damascus March 29.
There is no knowing how much support he will win from Arab governments or whether the different Palestinian communities will rise to his call. The whole plan may simply fold for lack of response - or not. Abbas' main objectives appear to be to upstage the warlike Hamas and throw a wet blanket over Israel's anniversary celebrations.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 28, 2008
The Palestinian terrorist group's reply was handed to Egyptian intelligence minister Gen. Omar Suleiman Thurs. April 24. It was delivered by Hamas leaders Mahmoud a-Zahar and Siad Siyam, who flew in to Cairo with their orders after Hamas' Damascus-based leaders conferred with Syrian and Iranian intelligence officers in the Syrian capital. They also ordered Hamas-Gaza to step up its attacks on Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 27, 2008
On Wednesday, April 23, Israel reopened all the Gaza crossings, including those attacked last week by Hamas: Kerem Shalom, Erez and the Nahal Oz fuel terminal, and restored fuel supplies to the Gaza population. debkafile reports: Four hours after the opening, Israeli forces were alerted to Palestinian gunmen threatening the Sufa crossing as the supply trucks rolled through.
Our sources disclose this step as being a unilateral Israel gesture to Hamas to encourage the Palestinian terrorist group to accept the Egyptian-brokered arrangement for Gaza.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 21, 2008
Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal voiced this threat Saturday, April 12.
debkafile's military sources report that the raid by Palestinian gunmen on the Israeli-Gaza fuel terminal - and murder of two of its employees, Oleg Lipson and Lev Cerniak - were meant to set the stage for a mass Hamas assault on the Gaza-Israeli border under the pretext of a protest against fuel shortages.
Our sources report that these shortages are a myth: Hamas has tons of heavy oil and petrol in stock, but reserves it for "military use." The population is kept short and ripe for action against "the Israeli and Egyptian blockade" of the Gaza Strip.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 20, 2008
debkafile's military sources report that a band of terrorists broke through the border barrier to the Kerem Shalom goods terminal in the southern border sector Thursday, April 14. Israeli forces challenged them, killing one infiltrator in the ensuing firefight and injuring a second. The third fled. So too did the dozens of trucks bearing food and other items for the Gazan population, which turned tail when they came under Palestinian fire
Exclusive: "Killing Field" was the name of Hamas assault which killed 3 Israeli soldiers, injured three Wednesday<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 18, 2008
The fallen Israeli soldiers were Sgt. Mattan Ovdati, 19, from Moshav Patish, Sgt. Menhash Albaniyat, 20, from Kseife, both from the Negev region, and Sgt. David Papian, 21, from Tel Aviv. Hamas reported 5 dead.
A senior officer told debkafile that Hamas used tactics first seen practiced by Hizballah in the 2006 Lebanon War battles of Bint Jbeil and Maroun al-Ras. Both terror groups receive advanced training in Syria and Iran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 15, 2008
debkafile's military sources report OC Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant, his aides and local security officers took cover when they came under heavy cross-border mortar fire from Gaza Sunday, April 13. None was hurt although the Palestinian aim was precise, starting as soon as the Israeli group inspecting security measures came within sight. Four shells landed 40 yards away.
This is the third time in a month that increasingly aggressive Palestinian cross-border fire has targeted a high-ranking Israeli.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 14, 2008
The two men, Ahab Abu Riyal and Anas Salum, from the Balata refugee camp in Nablus, were arrested by Israeli security Shin Bet officers last month before they could carry out their mission on behalf of the Lebanese Hizballah. Their Fatah-al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades branch is controlled by Hizballah.
They were told to dump slow-acting poison in the food set out for customers.