Hamas denies knowing captive officer’s whereabouts, says he may have died. IDF continues to blast Rafah
DEBKAfile Special Report August 2, 2014
Hamas’ military wing claimed Saturday, Aug. 2, to have lost contact with the abductors of 2nd lt. Hadar Goldin and believes they were all killed in the subsequent Israeli bombardment of Rafah. All Friday night until early Saturday, Israeli jets, tanks and heavy artillery continued to pound parts of the town. The Palestinians say they lost 150 dead – 70 in Rafah. Regarding the Cairo talks, Israel notes that Hamas has proved six times that any ceasefire deal it signs will breached and the lull used for surprise attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians.
DEBKAfile Special Report August 1, 2014
Israel informed US Secretary Kerry Friday, Aug. 1, of its withdrawal from the 72-hour truce after gross Hamas violations which peaked in an attack on an IDF tunnel team in Rafah in which two soldiers were killed and Israeli Givati officer, 1st Lt. Hadar Goldin, 23, from Kfar Saba, was abducted. The White House condemned the Hamas violation as “barbaric.” Hamas also breached the truce with a score of rockets and mortar shells. IDF tanks, artillery, air force and special forces retaliated in southern Gaza. Hamas and Islamic Jihad report many dead.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis July 30, 2014
Despite the rush of diplomats and analysts declaring that an imminent ceasefire would soon stamp out the fighting in Gaza, the war refuses to end. They failed to reckon on the conflict acquiring a religious dimension and fresh impetus. Wednesday, July 30, as Israel’s longest and toughest war since the War of Independence, went into its 49th day, the commander of Hamas’ military wing, master-terrorist Mohammed Deif, proclaimed the Gaza conflict a religious jihad which soldiers “eager for death” would fight until victory and bring Israeli soldiers to “certain defeat.”
Israel and Hamas reject Kerry’s ceasefire bid. The IDF awaits orders for next stage of Gaza operation
DEBKAfile Special Report July 25, 2014
Israel’s security and policy cabinet in Jerusalem and Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip and Qatar Friday, July 25, decided to reject the “humanitarian” seven-day ceasefire put before them by US Secretary of State John Kerry. Israel has not fully achieved the goals of Operation Defensive Edge, although its troops have gained a small advantage, while Hamas is still confident of victory. Kerry hoped his truce initiative would prevent the war’s escalation. It did not work. The IDF now awaits its next orders, while Hamas is preparing its next moves.
A “humanitarian” ceasefire would give Hamas time to find answers for Israeli Chariot-4’s Windbreaker armor
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis July 24, 2014
While talking tough, Hamas is keen on a “humanitarian” ceasefire – not out of sudden concern for Gaza’s civilians but in desperation for an answer to the Chariot-4 tank’s Armored Shield Protection-Active Trophy missile defense system, the Windbreaker. The Russian Kornet-E and the 9M113 Konkurs guided missiles which Hamas has fired against them don’t leave a scratch. Hamas fears that the IDF’s 401st armored brigade’s tanks, the only ones fitted with this armor, will spearhead Israel’s decisive assault on its underground high command, and has asked Tehran to find a counter-measure.
The missing Israeli sergeant’s uncertain fate. His family denies his death. Hamas claims his capture
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis July 22, 2014
The IDF finally Tuesday, July 22, listed Golani soldier Sgt. Oron Shaul, aged 20, from Poriya Elite, missing after an initial attempt to declare him presumed dead, mainly to head off Hamas extortions. This did not work. It was not accepted by the family without proof, and Hamas was quick to claim the missing soldier was in their hands, without offering evidence of his capture or specifying whether he was alive, dead or wounded. This was just one of IDF bids to mold facts for public consumption that went amiss.
Kerry and Ban in truce bid to save Hamas from defeat. Israel holds reply. Cairo won’t amend truce proposal
DEBKAfile Special Report July 21, 2014
Three rival groups are in a tug-o’-war over a ceasefire initiative for the Gaza conflict: The US and UN; Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia; and Qatar, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. Monday night, July 21, US Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Cairo to press their case. Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi told them he would not amend his original ceasefire proposal to suit Hamas’ demands. Israel has reserved its response, needing time for the IDF to accomplish its counter-terror mission in the Gaza Strip.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 17, 2014
Two channels to a ceasefire have produced no results, and an IDF ground incursion into Gaza to destroy Hamas’ underground bunkers is increasingly likely.
IDF ground forces attack Gaza amid air, sea and artillery pounding. Half a million Gazans told to leave. Israelis around Gaza sent to shelters
DEBKAfile Special Report July 17, 2014
Israel air, sea and artillery pounded the Gaza Strip Thursday night, July 17, as IDF ground forces embarked on a ground attack, just announced by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. debkafile reports a softening-up operation to prepare for the entry of armored and infantry units. The IDF calls on the half million Gazans of southern towns of Khan Younes and Rafah to leave their homes for their own safety. Israelis living close to the Gaza border were advised to stay in bomb shelters.
First Hamas rocket hits Nahariya. All parts of Israel within range from Gaza on Day Six of IDF operation
DEBKAfile Special Report July 13, 2014
Nahariya, a small resort town near the Lebanese border, Sunday, July 13, had the unwanted distinction of becoming the northernmost Israeli town to be hit by a Hamas rocket 172 km away from Gaza, after taking Hizballah Katyushas in past conflicts. debkafile minimizes the prospect of a truce for now, due to the factors in play. Resuscitating the 2012 is not on because the lead players are departed or have lost their clout. Israel will stop bombing only when Hamas stops shooting. And Hamas believes it is on a roll.
Syria conference opens in Switzerland with secret Iranian presence. Obama, Putin aim for local truces
DEBKAfile Special Report January 22, 2014
The conference of 30 foreign ministers opening Wednesday, Jan. 22, at Montreux got off to a shaky start. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said the Assad presidency was a ”red line” and Information minister Omran al-Zoubi said there was no civil war - only “a fight between government and terrorists.” After the fiasco of UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon’s withdrawal of his invitation to Tehran, an Iranian delegation arrived under cover. Presidents Obama and Putin agreed to limit conference goals to local ceasefires and humanitarian corridors.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 20, 2013
Some Syrian rebel chiefs controlling Damascus outskirts are clinching private ceasefire deals with local government army officers, a trend spreading to other cities. debkafile: These local deals are evolving into joint patrols of rebel-held districts. This trend offers the prospect of wide areas seized by the rebels reverting to government control without a fight and the two camps joining forces to combat the spreading encroachments of Al Qaeda. Assad hopes he will start looking better in Washington and ease the pressure over the chemicals issue.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 18, 2012
The trio conducting Israel’s Gaza operation are reexamining their plan to launch a ground offensive now in view of strong pressure from US President Barack Obama to desist - although he solidly supported the Israeli operation until now. Netanyahu, Barak and Lieberman are weighing three options: Sending troops into Gaza regardless; delaying ground action until Wednesday or: launching immediate ground sorties to test the ground. An Israeli delegation flew to Cairo when Obama insisted on giving failed truce talks another chance.
DEBKAfile Special Report April 10, 2011
Israel has agreed to halting its military operations in Gaza in return for a partial Hamas ceasefire – a deal which represents the Netanyahu government's surrender to the Islamists' missile offensive against southwestern Israel. It has left intact Hamas's capabilities for striking Israeli heartland cities and given it a license to carry on attacking communities abutting the Gaza Strip. Despite the potential strategic edge offered by the new Iron Dome, most Israeli civilians within range remain exposed to missile and mortar attack.
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