A Digest of DEBKAfile Round-the-Clock Exclusives in Week Ending Nov. 5, 2015

Diary of Terror

Oct. 30

  • IDF and Border Guard police came under gunfire from a Palestinian rally at El Bireh near Ramallah Friday. The fire was not returned. No one was hurt.
  • Two Israelis injured at the Jerusalem train station Friday – one stabbed and the second shot. The Palestinian was shot and seriously wounded.
  • A knife attack by two terrorists on a group of soldiers at the Tapuch intersection was foiled Friday. The soldiers shot both assailants – one dead, the second injured.

Nov. 1

  • A terrorist tried to stab a group of soldiers at the Beit Anun intersection near Hebron on Sunday afternoon but the soldiers opened fire and killed him. None of the soldiers were wounded.
  • A terrorist driving a vehicle hit three border policemen at the Beit Anun intersection near Kiryat Arba Sunday. One of the policemen was moderately injured. The Palestinian terrorist escaped. At the same intersection another terrorist was killed wielding a knife against IDF soldiers.

Nov. 2

  • The firebomb damaged the guard post at the entrance to the District Court on Salahadin Street in Jerusalem early Monday and landed in the judges’ parking lot. No one was hurt.
  • A man of 70 was stabbed in the back and seriously injured by a terrorist in Netanya, 30 km north of Tel Aviv. The attacker was shot. This was the second Palestinian attack in a major Israeli coastal town Monday.
  • In a stabbing rampage Monday on the high street of Rishon Letzion, 8 km south of Tel Aviv, a Palestinian injured three people, including an 80-year-old and a 40-year old man who were seriously hurt. A shop owner slammed the door on the terrorist when he tried to break into her store. He was arrested.
  • One Palestinian killed, second injured when they pulled knives on soldiers at a gas station near the Jalame roadblock near Jenin.

Nov. 3

  • IDF forces shut down the Hamas Al-Hurriya radio station in Hebron Tuesday over broadcasts inciting Palestinians to carry out knife attacks on Israelis. In the past month, 29 terrorist attacks were staged in the Hebron area of which 22 were stabbing.

Nov. 4

  • A terrorist behind the wheel of a vehicle ran down two Israelis at Halhul junction near Hebron on Wednesday afternoon. One of the victims, a 20-year-old man, was critically injured.

Nov. 5

  • Doctors were Thursday fighting to save the life of the 20-yeard old Israeli border policeman who was run down by a Palestinian driving a car at the Halhul junction near Hebron Wednesday. The terrorist was shot and killed. His body was handed over to his family in Hebron, despite a security cabinet decision not to surrender the remains of Palestinian terrorists.
  • Shortly after this Israeli gesture, Palestinian UN delegate Riyad Mansour published a letter to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon accusing Israel of removing parts of Palestinian bodies before handing them over. Israel has demanded that UN secretary finally denounce the violent Palestinian campaign of terror and lies waged against Israel for more than a month.

Other News of the Week

October 29, 2015 Briefs

  • Russian warplanes bomb rebel positions near Golan
    The Russian air force carried out heavy bombing attacks on Thursday morning against rebel targets in southern Syria, including the Deraa area adjacent to the Golan.
  • Supreme Court hears appeal on demolition of terrorists' houses
    Three justices from Israel's Supreme Court started hearing an appeal on Thursday, October 29, against the destruction of the houses of the families of the terrorists who murdered Na'ama and Itam Henkin, Nehemia Lavi, Aharon Bennet, Danny Gonen, and Malachi Rosenfeld, among others.
  • Iran will never abandon its military nuclear option, ex-president says
    The former president of Iran, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, claimed on Wednesday that his country has never given up its plan to develop a military nuclear program.

October 30, 2015 Briefs

  • Eight points agreed at multinational Vienna conference on Syria
    The 17 nations meeting in Vienna Friday, led by the US, Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia, reached accord on seven points for a political resolution of the Syrian civil war.
    1) Syria’s territorial integrity and secular character will be preserved.
    2) Government institutions, including the army and security forces, will continue to function after a political accord is achieved.
    3) Syrian territory must be secured. (Under whose responsibility?)
    4) ISIS and other extremist Muslim groups must be defeated.
    5) Syrian government and rebel parties will meet to hammer out a political solution for ending the conflict.
    6) General elections will take place under UN auspices.
    7) The Syrians will administer their own political moves without outside interference.
    8) The Syrian question will be solved by political means alone.
    debkafile: The fate of Bashar Assad is still outstanding for the next session.
  • Obama agrees to send special operations forces to N. Syria
    In a policy about-face, US President Barack Obama plans to deploy a small Special Operations force in northern Syria of no more than 20-30 ground troops – a step he has resisted throughout the five year civil war.

Iran’s elite Rev Guards units routed with heavy losses by ISIS in the Al Safira pre-battle for Aleppo

The battle for Al-Safira, 20 km. south of Aleppo – and the key to its capture – will go down in Iran’s Revolutionary history as the most humiliating defeat its elite forces have sustained in all its 36 years. This week, Iran sent 2,000 of its best-trained, loyal and well-equipped combat troops, detached from six elite Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) units into battle at Al-Safira, which was supposed to be the turning point in the Syrian civil war. But they were driven back by SIS amid heavy losses. debkafile exclusively identifies the six units.

October 31, 2015 Briefs

  • Thousands rally for 20th anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination
    The 20h anniversary of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was marked by a mass rally in Tel Aviv Saturday night and tributes paid to the late leader by two US presidents. President Barack Obama who sent a video-taped speech and former president Bill Clinton in person.
  • IDF planes and drones helped locate crashed Russian airliner
    Israeli Air Force reconnaissance planes and drones assisted in the location of the crashed Russian airliner in central Sinai Saturday morning. There were no survivors. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin conveyed their condolences to the Russian people.

ISIS claims downing Russian airliner in Sinai in reprisal for Moscow’s Syria air strikes

ISIS’s Sinai affiliate claimed Saturday after a Russian airliner carrying 224 people from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg crashed over Sinai.
debkafile reported in recent months that ISIS sent officers, former senior members of Saddam Hussein’s army to Sinai, to set up a major campaign against the Egyptian army, along with advanced anti-air missile systems smuggled into Sinai and the Gaza Strip from Libya.

November 1, 2015 Briefs

  • Emirates, Air Arabia and flydubai reroute flights to avoid Sinai
    The three Gulf airlines, Emirates, Air Arabia and flydubai followed Lufthansa and Air France-KLM in rerouting their flights to avoid Sinai as a “security precaution” after the Russian airliner’s deadly crash Saturday in which 224 people lost their lives. .
  • ISIS advances near Homs, tightens siege on Aleppo
    Amid heavy Russian bombardment, forces of ISIS and the Al-Nusra Front continued their advance in the area of Homs and Aleppo on Sunday by capturing the town of Maheen, located southwest of Homs, strengthening their hold on the main routes linking Aleppo to Latakia and Damascus, including Highway No. 5.

November 2 2015 Briefs

  • Western airlines warned to avoid Sharm el-Sheikh over missile threat
    US, British and German aviation authorities Monday issued a directive to their airlines and air crews to avoid flying over the Sinai Peninsula below 26,000 feet and avoid Sharm el-Sheikh airport due to extremist violence. The warning mentioned the use of anti-aircraft weapons with the potential for reaching high altitudes.

What coordination? Russia and Israeli warplanes play cat and mouse over Syria

Syrian media reported an Israeli air force attack Sunday, Nov. 1, after two sorties Friday night against Syrian army and Hizballah bases in the Qalamoun Mountains on the Lebanese border. The IDF declined to confirm or deny these reports. The two targets, 70 km apart, are two key points along the Iranian arms supply route to Hizballah. Is Moscow giving Israel aerial leeway to strike Iranian, Syria and Hizballah targets so long as there is no interference in Russian operations? Not likely.

November 3, 2015 Briefs

  • US deploying F-15C Eagle fighters to Turkey
    The US is sending to Turkey 12 F-15C Eagle warplanes, armed exclusively with air-to-air missiles, to protect US and Turkish warplanes carrying out airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria, in response to Russia's deployment of Sukhoi Su-30s fighters to Syria.
    IAF planes refueled Jordanian warplanes in aerial exercise, US says
    US military sources said Tuesday that Israeli Air Force planes refueled Jordanian fighters above the Atlantic Ocean during a US military exercise in July. The sources added that other Arab countries took part in the "Red Flag" exercise as well. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said it is no longer unusual to have cooperation between the IAF and the air forces of Arab countries opposed to the Bashar Assad, Iran and Hizballah.
  • Joint Russian-US air drill to avoid “midair proximity” over Syria
    Russian and US air forces conducted a joint exercise Tuesday morning to drill skills of interaction between crews and ground forces in case of midair proximity, Gen. Andrew Kartapolov, head of the Russian Armed forces General Staff Department of operations disclosed in Moscow.
  • Kremlin: No link between Russian Syrian strategy and air crash
    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Tuesday that it was inappropriate to link Russia's military strategy in Syria with the results of an investigation into an airplane crash in Egypt over the weekend in which over 200 people died.
    debkafile: This comment indicates that Moscow will not initiate a counter-strike against ISIS even if the investigation attributes the air disaster’s cause to a missile or bomb. The Kremlin totally rejects the Islamic State’s claim that it downed the plane to punish Russia for its military operations in Syria.
  • Turkish air strikes on Kurdish Iraqi bases, crackdown on Turkish Kurds
    Turkish security forces imposed a curfew Tuesday on Kurdish neighborhoods in the southeastern town of Silvan after a civilian was shot in the town during Kurdish protests in the region against the ruling party’s election victory. Turkish air strikes Monday in northern Iraq targeted shelters and weapons stores used by the PKK, the outlawed Kurdish Workers Party.
  • US embassy staff in Cairo told to avoid Sinai
    The United States Embassy in Cairo has instructed its staff not to travel anywhere in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula as a "precautionary measure," pending the outcome of the investigation into the crash of a Russian passenger jet with 224 people aboard Saturday.

November 4, 2015 Briefs

  • We'll soon disclose how we downed Russian plane
    In an audio recording released Wednesday via social networks, ISIS repeated its claim of responsibility for the downing of a Russian airliner over the Sinai Peninsula on Saturday, adding that it will soon reveal how it shot down the jet. The message also challenged the government of Egypt to prove that ISIS was not responsible for the crash.
  • Putin, Erdogan confer by phone to follow up on Syria talks
    Presidents Vladimir Putin and Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone on Wednesday to discuss Syria’s future following multinational talks last week in Vienna.
  • Erdogan seeks constitutional reform to broaden presidential powers
    In his first speech after his party's victory in this week's parliamentary elections, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he will push for constitutional amendments to broaden his powers as president.
  • Rally in Tehran marks anniversary of US embassy assault
    Tens of thousands of Iranians marked the 36th anniversary of the day in 1979 when mobs stormed the American embassy in a government-sponsored demonstration. They burned American flags and held up anti-US slogans.
  • Bomb car kills 6 Egyptian police officers near El Arish
    Six Egyptian police officers were killed and scores of policemen and civilians were injured in an explosion caused by a bomb car driven by a suicide terrorist near the El Arish police station in northern Sinai early Wednesday.
  • UK says “explosive device” may have caused Russian plane crash
    The British PM’s office ordered a delay for flights due to leave Sharm el-Sheikh for Britain Wednesday night with British holiday makers aboard following intelligence that the Russian airliner was blown up Saturday by an explosive device. A team of UK aviation experts is on its way to the Egyptian Red Sea resort to assess security arrangements.

Russian-made cargo plane crash in S. Sudan kills dozens. Second Mid East air disaster

No cause has yet been established for the Russian-made Antonov Ant-12’s crash-landing on the east bank of the Nile River 800 m short of Juba international airport in South Sudan Wednesday, Nov. 4. The plan had a Russian crew of five. Some 40 people were believed killed on board and on the ground, although there appear to be two survivors. But none of the 224 passengers and crew aboard the Metrojet Flight 9268 Airbus 321 survived the airliner’s crash in central Sinai Saturday, Oct. 31. Russian forensic examinations of the victims’ remains show evidence of an explosion in the plane. The missile or bomb which blew up the Russian airliner over Sinai Saturday is reported by debkafile’s sources to have been likely smuggled in from Libya.

November 5, 2015 Briefs

  • Russia sends missile systems to Syria
    The head of Russia's air force Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev said Thursday that Russian fighter jets could be hijacked in countries neighboring Syria and used to attack Russian forces. Missile systems have therefore been sent to Syria to protect its military forces there.

Anti-air missiles in ISIS hands also imperil Saudi, Jordanian and Israeli skies

The British Cobra (emergency cabinet) decision of Wednesday, Nov. 4, not to send airliners to or from Sharm El-Sheikh, where 20,000 British tourists are stranded, further strengthens the assumption that the Russian Metrojet Flight 9268 was downed over Sinai Saturday by a terrorist missile. So far, the drawn-out deliberations and prevarications by officials in several countries regarding the causes of the Russian plane crash are meant for one purpose: to gain time for doing nothing about ISIS in Sinai.

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