Hamas conducts big guerilla exercise in Gaza's Al Burej camp focusing on maximum Israeli troop casualties and abductions<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 5, 2007
debkafile's military sources report: Heavily armed masked Hamas operatives performed field exercises Tues. Oct. 30 in anti-aircraft tactics, assaults on buildings occupied by Israeli troops, and methods of identifying and targeting Israeli undercover and special forces units. A special sniper unit also took part in the drill.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 5, 2007
The condition laid down by Ahmed Qureia, chief Palestinian negotiator, Tuesday Oct. 30 - Israel must first accept a deadline for establishing a Palestinian state - has brought the US-sponsored peace conference close to a mission impossible. debkafile reports that Qureia was reacting to the message from President George W. Bush that US National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley brought to Jerusalem and Ramallah last week that no timetables would be imposed on Israel on the Palestinians for the discussion of core issues in their dispute.
Three suspects detained in West Bank Jamayin village over drive-by shooting attack which injured two Israelis Wednesday <br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 28, 2007
One, a soldier, was seriously hurt in the attack claimed by Fatah-al Aqsa. The shooters in a commercial van zigzagged wildly down the road, raking Israeli vehicles with gunfire. At Ariel, the van U-turned and fired at the soldiers waiting at the Ariel hitchhikers' post on the Trans-Shomron Highway before disappearing. Six vehicles were hit by flying bullets. The soldier was hospitalized with stomach injuries. debkafile's military sources: There were no Israeli roadblocks on the road either to halt the lethal vehicle or hold up its escape from the scene of attack.
Shin Bet foils Palestinian Fatah faction plot to assassinate Olmert on way to Jericho talks with Abbas. Israel lodges strong protest with PA<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 24, 2007
This first Palestinian conspiracy to kill an Israeli prime minister was directed at Ehud Olmert's June meeting with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Jericho. The Shin Bet director Yuval Diskin reported to the cabinet that Israel caught two of the five would-be assassins and, acting on Shin Bet information, Palestinian officers arrested three.
However, last week, they released the detainees - all of them on the payroll either of Abbas' US-subsidized Force 17 presidential guard or Tawfiq Tirawi's General intelligence - in time for the US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice's visit.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 21, 2007
A Palestinian fishing boat crewed by Hamas gunmen ambushed and fired on Israeli naval craft off the coast of Rafah, Gaza Strip Thursday. Fire was returned. No one was hurt. This was the first Hamas attack on Israeli vessels blockading Gaza against arms smuggling.
Abbas demands Palestinian state include all parts of West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem, else conflict with Israel continues
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 16, 2007
In an interview with Palestinian TV Oct. 10, Abbas spelled out the precise Palestinian demands for the first time. Israel must withdraw from all pre-1967 territory. The Palestinians demand all of the Gaza Strip and West Bank, plus an area inside the "no man's land" for a future Palestinian state. "We have 6,205 square kilometers on the West Bank and Gaza Strip. We want it as it is," he said, declaring his claim was supported by UN Security Council resolutions.
"This is our vision for the Palestinian independent state with full sovereignty on its borders, water and resources."
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span>: Looming over the Olmert-Abbas diplomatic impasse is the Hamas' newly streamlined war machine in Gaza<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 9, 2007
debkafile's military sources report exclusively that Hamas has managed in three months to whip up an integrated armed force under its sole command from its own and the Gaza Strip's Fatah-dominated security and intelligence bodies.
A Fatah defector Gen. Tawfiq Jabar commands the force.
In contrast, the Palestinian Authority's West Bank security agencies are crumbling.
These contrasting processes are examined in debkafile's Exclusive Military Report below.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> reports: Palestinian sources deny formula for Middle East conference in November agreed by Olmert and Abbas<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 6, 2007
While still divided on core issues of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas were reported to have agreed in Jerusalem Wednesday, Oct. 3, that the conference would mark the take-off of negotiations on a permanent settlement without limitation on time or agenda and within the framework of the Middle East roadmap. The next day, sources close to Abbas denied foregoing a timeline and agenda.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> reports: Israeli security authorities angered by Olmert's reprieve of bearer of Saddam Hussein's largesse for Palestinian terrorists<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 5, 2007
Rakad Mahmoud Salameh, aka "Abu Mahmoud" or "Rakad Salam," walks free Monday, Oct. 1, along with 90 jailed Palestinians, whose release prime minister Ehud Olmert and vice PM Haim Ramon ordered as a Ramadan gesture for Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas. The next Olmert-Abbas meeting takes place the following day, Tuesday, in Jerusalem.
debkafile's counter-terror sources report that Salameh's job was to manage Saddam Hussein's bankroll for the Yasser Arafat's suicide "al Aqsa" campaign against Israel which peaked in 2000-2002. The Iraqi dictator's policy was to promote Palestinian anti-Israel violence by oiling its wheels with the money.
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.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span>: Two Hamas operatives killed, third flees, after attacking Israeli force on missile prevention operation in Gaza
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 2, 2007
An Israel soldier was slightly injured in the Hamas small arms and grenade assault. The attackers were bent on killing Israeli soldiers and if possible kidnap one or more. debkafile's military sources report this was the first time a Hamas unit had initiating this form of attack Israel forces present inside the Gaza Strip to cut down missile fire and thwart the constant attempts to spirit terrorist bands past the border.
Two Qassam missiles destroyed in controlled explosion after discovery in Bethlehem region of West Bank pointed at Gilo, S. Jerusalem<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 30, 2007
Palestinian security officers found the missiles and launchers between the West Bank Al Aida refugee camp and Beit Jala which abuts on the Jerusalem district of Gilo and handed them to the IDF. The 22 mm 1.5 meters-long missiles were marked "Allah is great." Israeli forces quickly carried out controlled explosions.
Palestinian attacks from Gaza Tuesday: A house in Kerem Shalom badly damaged in mortar fire directed also against Nahal Oz. Two Palestinian infiltrators captured near Kissufim<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 26, 2007
Monday, Kerem Shalom took two mortar rounds, a missile was fired on Sderot, and gunfire and an anti-tank missile targeted an IDF border patrol south of the Karni crossing. No casualties on either day.
An undercover Israeli Border Guard unit detains a Fatah terrorist on list of 180 amnestied by Israel two months ago<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 24, 2007
Fares Mansour, Fatah-al Aqsa Brigades activist, was detained in Kalil village outside Nablus, for violating the terms of his reprieve and reverting to terrorist activity. Found in his hideout were eight explosive devices, a rifle and a pistol.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 24, 2007
The Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas has said to everyone in sight that he will not attend the Washington peace conference the White House is promoting for November unless he is assured of progress on core issues and on Palestinian statehood. Otherwise, he says, the event is futile. Without him, there is no conference.
After turning a deaf ear not only to Abbas, but also to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, both of which prefer to stay away, Condoleezza Rice has come up with a fresh tactic. Instead of the smallish Israel-Arab forum originally planned, which she too realizes has nowhere to go, the secretary is trying to jazz the event up with momentum for a big international summit.
Now she is talking about inviting the entire Arab League, which would include Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and the Maghreb nations, as well as a couple of Muslim rulers.
The US secretary knows perfectly well that the larger the forum, the less the chance of consensus on action or substantive issues. But even resolutions that are mere generalities, she believes, can be sold to the Arab and Muslim world as a demonstration that the Bush administration is making good on its pledge to bring about progress for a solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 17, 2007
Tzahi Hanegbi: We cannot tolerate the shooting on our southern border. Sooner or later we will have to take hard decisions, including stopping "the pampering of Gaza's inhabitants" - a reference to proposals to shut down Israel-supplied power whenever a missile is fired. "Looking after our own poor must come first. We must therefore be tough," said Hanegbi.
Israeli cabinet warned: Hamas on West Bank is ordered from its Damascus HQ to prepare large-scale suicide attack in Israel<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 29, 2007
The deputy security service chief told the ministers Sunday, Aug. 26, that since Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip two months ago, Palestinian terrorist groups had managed to smuggle in 40 tons of explosives - and, most recently, 150 recoilless propelled grenade launchers, RPGs.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> reports: Three Gazan Palestinian terrorist groups claim failed suicide attack early Saturday amid escalating hostilities
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 28, 2007
The two suiciders used ropes to climb over the border fence near Netiv Ha'asara north of Gaza and hurled grenades at the Coordination Command Office at Erez. The Golani Brigade cornered the pair and shot them dead. One soldier was injured in the shootout. Fatah-al Aqsa, the Democratic Front and the Popular Committees claimed the attack.
Sunday noon, Israeli helicopters struck a N. Gazan Qassam missile launch site near Beit Hanoun, after three were fired into Israel. The Palestinian team escaped unharmed.
DEBKA Military Report analyses the mounting perils on three of Israel's borders.
Israeli forces kill 4 Jihad Islami gunmen in West Bank town of Jenin and village near Tulkarm early Saturday
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 27, 2007
In both cases, the Palestinian gunmen, including the Jihad Jenin commander, were killed when they began shooting at Israeli undercover units come to detain wanted terrorists. A Bedouin boy was killed in the crossfire.
debkafile reports the rising violence on the West Bank points up the inability of Mahmoud Abbas, prime minister Salam Fayyad and their security forces to exercise control over the towns and villages in their jurisdiction.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 26, 2007
As life in areas abutting the Gaza Strip becomes increasingly hellish and dangerous, their Israeli inhabitants feel as though they live in a forgotten land.
debkafile sources report this sensation was dramatized Saturday, Aug. 25, by the display of astonishing new Palestinian military capabilities and their determination to use them - in the face of a quiescent central government and high command.
For the past week, terrorist attacks from the Gaza Strip have been escalating. They peaked Saturday with an incident that fell just short of a calamity by a fluke. debkafile's military sources say: This incident threw up in sharp relief the perils in store for as long as the Olmert government holds the military back from its plan to carve out of security buffer strip inside Gaza.
On Israel's third front, the Lebanese border, debkafile's military sources reveal that Iran has just completed laying a broad strategic highway connecting the Hizballah-controlled Beqaa Valley on the Syrian border with the Shiite group's new fortified bases, complete with missiles pointing at Israel, at the northern reaches of the Litani River.