DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 15, 2002
First, it depends on the nature of US envoy Anthony Zinni's brief. If it is, as officially and publicly defined, to convince Palestinians and Israelis to suspend the grim cycle of violence and bloodshed and accept a truce - then the answer is: Not likely.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 14, 2002
In attempting to unscramble the Palestinian-Israel-Hizballah confrontation, US secretary of state Colin Powell faces the toughest assignment of his career. Its complexities persuaded him to ask the President for more time in the Middle East, well beyond the 48 hours first allowed him.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 9, 2002
Ever since the capture of the Karine-A Palestinian arms smuggling boat on the Red Sea two months ago exposed Yasser Arafat's working relations with Iran, the Hizballah and Iraq, both America and Israel had an interest in keeping Arafat cornered in Ramallah for three main reasons.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 9, 2002
The Tulkarm refugee camp was the third such location to be tackled by Israeli forces' new counter-offensive - after the Nablus camp of Balata and the Jenin camp - all on the West Bank.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 5, 2002
Tuesday, between 02:15 and 09:00 hours Israel time, Palestinian terrorists slew 5 Israelis and injured 63 in attacks in Tel Aviv, Afula and the Tunnel Road leading out of Jerusalem. Each time the level of bloodshed hits a new and intolerable high - as it did last Saturday and Sunday - it gets worse. By upping the pace of terror attacks and killing more Israelis, Arafat is throwing a gauntlet at the feet of US president George W. Bush - namely, he will prove he can topple Ariel Sharon before the Americans even get started on overturning Saddam Hussein.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 2, 2002
Friday night, March 1, on the third day of their first large-scale counter-terror operations in the refugee camps of Nablus and Jenin, Israeli armed forces, led by troops of the Golani infantry brigade, pulled back from the West Bank refugee camp of Jenin to its outskirts.
IDF Aims to Break Back of Fatah al Aqsa Brigades, Open Routes in Case of Clashes with Iraq or Hizballah
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 1, 2002
Israel set out on Thursday, February 28, to break the back of the Fatah-Tanzim's al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, by thrusting for the first time in force into the large Nablus and Jenin refugee camps, the main forward bases for the suicide assailants who plague Israeli towns, villages, roads and military targets.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 27, 2002
A glimmer of hope hung over the resumed trilateral security mission meeting at the US Ambassador's home in Herzliya Tuesday night, February 26. Present were Israeli Shin Beit director Avi Dichter, IDF General Command Planning Chief, Maj.-Gen Giora Eiland, Palestinian Gaza Strip Preventive Security Head Mohamed Dahlan, Palestinian General Intelligence Chief Muhamed Hindi and American representatives.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 26, 2002
Just over three weeks ago, Palestinian Authority paymasters, about to hand out January wage packets to civilian and security personnel, were taken aback to find that the $50 million earmarked for the purpose had gone missing. At a loss, they asked their bosses what to do and were told there was nothing for it but to take the problem to Yasser Arafat. However, in the top man's presence, no- one said a word. Every one of those staffers knew exactly who had taken the money and what it was spent on: Arafat's latest Fatah-Tanzim terror cycle, already referred to by insiders as The Palestinian Tet Offensive.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 24, 2002
Israel's security cabinet decision Sunday, February 24, to slightly ease Yasser Arafat's conditions of confinement in Ramallah was accompanied by a pullback of the tanks besieging his headquarters for nearly three months. But to leave thisWest Bank hub town - he wants to attend the Arab League summit in Beirut on March 28 - he will have to ask Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon for permission.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 22, 2002
Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, needed only one week to reconsider and take back the deal he floated before New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, namely normal relations between the Arab world and Israel in return for its withdrawal to pre-1967 frontiers. From the first, debkafile discounted the motive behind the plan, judging it was aired more with an eye to Riyadh's rocky relations with Washington than the Israel-Palestinian impasse. Abdullah unsurprisingly killed the idea Thursday, February 21, announcing he would not bring it before the Arab summit.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 21, 2002
Israel will create buffer zones buttressed by physical barriers to bring about "security separation" between Israel and Palestinian territory. Demarcation work will begin at once. This was the main message prime minister Ariel Sharon delivered in a rare broadcast address to the nation Thursday night, February 21.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 20, 2002
Ariel Sharon may not realize how fast Yasser Arafat is advancing on his goal of defeating yet another Israeli prime minister, exactly five years after a Palestinian bus-bombing campaign and strike against Tel Aviv's DizengoffCenter forced Shimon Peres to throw in the towel after only a year as prime minister.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 18, 2002
Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon brushed aside the widespread criticism of his handling of Palestinian terror as politically motivated, when he addressed a Likud party faction meeting Monday, February 17. He declared brusquely that he doesn't need experts to advise him on how to combat terror.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 17, 2002
Israel's inner security cabinet meeting Sunday afternoon, February 17, faced the bald option between going to war proper against Arafat and his Palestinian Authority or hold off again and live with a savagely spiraling casualty toll - 14 Israelis dead in the last two weeks.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 12, 2002
Israel's policy-makers and military tacticians both came badly out of the first round of Palestinian rocket warfare. Notwithstanding the generals' claim that the armed forces were ready for this acute upturn in Palestinian violence, their deployment has been slow and unwieldy in the face of the new threat.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 10, 2002
debkafile's political and military analysts note that Yasser Arafat has brought the full weight of his terror campaign to bear on Israel's cities and population centers; most of the Intifada toll has been borne by civilians. During Sharon's five-day absence in the United States, seven Israelis died at the hands of terrorists, six women and none on the battlefield.