A Digest of DEBKAfile Round-the-Clock Exclusives in Week Ending Oct. 29, 2015
Diary of Terror
- An Israeli couple and their three children suffered burns from a Palestinian Molotov cocktail tossed at their car on Route 60 near Beit El in the West Bank. The 4-year old girl was badly hurt.
- A Palestinian terrorist approached an Israeli security guard at the Jalameh checkpoint near Jenin with a box of candy, before running at him with a knife. The guard shot him dead.
- Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu confirmed US Secretary John Kerry’s statement in Amman on Temple Mount. "Recognizing the importance of the Temple Mount to peoples of all three monotheistic faiths – Jews, Muslims and Christians – Israel re-affirms its commitment to upholding unchanged the status quo of the Temple Mount….while maintaining public order and security.”
- A terrorist with a knife ran at an Israeli man at the Ariel intersection of Highway 5 Sunday evening. He got away after striking his victim in the chest. This was the third knifing attack Sunday.
- A female Palestinian terrorist, asked for ID by police near the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, pulled out a knife and ran towards them. The policemen shot her. She died of her injuries.
- At Gush Etzion, a Palestinian terrorist stabbed an Israeli, inflicting serious injuries. The attacker was shot and seriously wounded.
- A Palestinian who tried to stab a soldier on guard at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron was shot and injured before he caused harm.
- In Hebron, a soldier was in grave condition after being stabbed in the jugular by a Palestinian terrorist north of Kiryat Arba. The attacker was shot and killed.
- In Issawiyeh, North Jerusalem, a Border Guard officer was badly hurt by an exploding pipe bomb thrown at him by a Palestinian, who was detained.
- An Israeli soldier waiting for a bus outside Gush Etzion was stabbed and seriously injured by two Palestinians Tuesday night. They were shot dead by soldiers and other witnesses.
- Six Israeli Arabs arrested and indicted for throwing firebombs at Trans-Israel Route 6 traffic earlier this month. All six, residents of the town of Tira adjacent to Kfar Saba, admitted to two attacks.
- Richard Lakin, 76, was the third fatality of the Palestinian terrorist attack on a bus in the Jerusalem suburb of Armon Hanatziv two weeks ago. An American educator, who marched for civil rights in the 1960s and advocated coexistence between Muslims and Jews, he died in hospital of wounds inflicted by two Palestinian terrorists, who shot him in the head and repeatedly stabbed him. Originally from Newton, Massachusetts, a longtime principal at Glastonbury, Connecticut, and author of a book on teaching, Lakin taught English in mixed classes of Muslims and Jews when he moved to Israel in 1984. His Facebook page displayed an image of Israeli and Arab kids hugging under the word: ”coexist.”
- A terrorist knifed an Israeli woman at a supermarket parking lot in Gush Etzion south of Jerusalem. She suffered moderate injuries. He was captured.
- Basel Ghattas of the United Arab List was blasted by fellow parliamentarians from right and left for sneaking past police guards to visit Temple Mount Wednesday. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had asked all Knesset members, Arabs and Jews alike, to refrain from visits to shrine for now until terrorist violence abated.
- A Palestinian stabbed a Border Guard policeman in Hebron early Thursday. The terrorist was shot dead. His victim hospitalized with moderate wounds.
Other News of the Week
October 23, 2015 Briefs
- ISIS seizes Syrian army supply route to Aleppo
In a serious setback for Syrian-Hizballah forces backed by Iran and Russia, ISIS Friday seized sections of Highway No. 5 that connects Aleppo to Homs, Hama and Damascus, thereby cutting off the Syrian army’s supply route to Aleppo. debkafile reports that allied forces, fighting for days to lift the Syrian rebel siege of the city, pinned their hopes on Russian intervention, but ISIS beat them to the draw.
- Brett McGurk appointed as Washington's new ISIS war czar
Brett McGurk has been named as US President Barack Obama's new envoy to the coalition against ISIS, replacing Gen. John Allen who stepped down in November..
- Russia and Jordan agree to set up counterterrorism coordination center
Russia and Jordan are to establish a coordination center in Amman for sharing information on counter-terrorism operations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday. Russia is already in touch with Iran, Iraq and Syria through a Baghdad-based center for the same purpose.
October 24, 2015 Briefs
- Baghdad allows Russia to attack ISIS targets in Iraq
The Iraqi government on Saturday gave the Russian military authorization to extend its anti-ISIS operations into Iraq. debkafile military sources: The Russians gain permission to use the Al Taqaddum airbase used currently by US troops for air strikes ISIS.
- Eight Iranian commanders killed this week in Syria
Iran's state-run media reported Saturday that eight Iranian commanders have been killed in Syria this week, including Brig. Gen.l Reza Khavari of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who was killed in battle against rebel forces.
debkafile's military sources: In fact, 15 commanders and members of the IRGC were killed this week in the fighting around Aleppo, after 5 Hizballah fighters died on Friday.
October 25, 2015 Briefs
- Israel blacklists three terrorist organizations including ISIS
Israel has outlawed three radical groups as terrorist organizations: ISIS, the Syrian Nusra Front and the Abdullah Azzam Brigades.
An Israeli Arab flies paraglider into Syria from Golan to join ISIS without being intercepted
In a major security breach, an Israeli Arab, 23, was not stopped when he flew a paraglider across into Syria to join ISIS from the southwestern village of Mevo Hama Saturday, Oct. 24, southwestern Golan – although he was seen by an IDF spotter. His landing in Syria was secured by a jihadist party who came to pick him up.
The massive air and ground search operation the Israeli military scrambled came too late.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu proposed stripping the defector of his Israeli citizenship.
October 26, 2015 Briefs
- Putin and Saudi King speak by phone
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia's King Salman discussed on Monday ways to resolve the crisis in Syria. Both also expressed concern about Israeli-Palestinian violence. debkafile: The Russian leader tried to talk Salman round to accepting his proposal for resolving the Syrian crisis. Earlier, Russia announced that the US-backed rebel Free Syrian Army had sent a delegation to Moscow, a hint that some of the rebel groups were willing to back Putin’s plan for ending the Syrian war..
- Israeli air strikes hit two Hamas targets in reprisal for rocket fire
Monday night, the Israeli Air Force bombed two Hamas targets in the southern Gaza Strip in retaliation for rocket fire at the Shear Hanegev. There were no casualties.
- Assad and Omani FM discuss solutions for Syrian crisis
Omani Foreign Minister Yussef bin Alawi was the first Arab foreign minister to visit Damascus since the onset of the Syrian war. debkafile: Assad told Putin last week that he would agree to elections and step down provided a member of his family succeeded him.
- Hooded gunman tries to storm Belgian military base
A gunman wearing a balaclava Monday rammed the entrance barriers of the Belgian military Flawinne barracks in the Namur province of Wallonia, Belgium. He fled when soldiers opened fire without causing casualties.
- Seven ISIS jihadis, 2 Turkish police killed in firefight in Diyabakir
Seven ISIS fighters and 2 Turkish policemen were killed during police raids in the Kurdish city of Diyarbakir in southeastern Turkey.
Russia overrides Middle East cyber waves
Moscow has augmented its military presence in Syria and Iraq with two state-of-the-art weapons: the Ilyushin-20 (IL-20 Coot) surveillance planes in both countries and, nine Borisoglebsk 2 electronic warfare systems atop a Syrian peak. Both are among the most sophisticated of their kind anywhere. Last week, after Baghdad gave Moscow permission to use its Al Taqaddum air base, the Russian spy plane first sighted in Syria was spotted in Iraq. The electronic warfare system is capable of neutralizing air and ground military operations of US-led operations forces in Syria and Iraq by jamming almost any radio signal.
October 27, 2015 Briefs
- Iran officially invited to Syria talks for first time
Iranian Foreign Minister Muhamed Javad Zarif will attend the multilateral conference in Vienna Friday on a solution for ending the Syrian war Thursday, after Iran was invited to a forum of this kind for the first time. President Putin persuaded Saudi Arabia to withdraw its opposition to Iran’s presence. debkafile: This is a sign of significant progress in the negotiations between the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey on a solution for the Syrian crisis.
- First Russian air strikes over Quneitra opposite the Golan
In its first sortie over Quneitra opposite Israeli Golan, the Russian air force struck Islamic State and Nusra Front positions Tuesday. This was the closest Russian warplanes had ever come to the Syrian-Israeli border. On Oct. 9, debkafile reported that the Russian air force was preparing to go into action over southern Syria and Israel was braced for intrusions.
- US-led air strikes in Syria slow, Russian stay intense
According to Pentagon data, the last US-coalition strike against ISIS in Syria was a drone attack on Oct. 22. Russia in contrast claimed to have hit 94 targets in the past 24 hours.
- Turkish police round up 30 ISIS suspects in Konya
The Turkish police sweep in the central town of Konya Tuesday rounded up 30 Islamic State suspects a day after a raid in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir killed seven terrorists and captured another twelve. Two Turkish police officers were killed.
- Uproar in UK over JK Rowling’s condemnation of anti-Israel boycott
The creator of Harry Potter last week joined 150 British artists in signing an open letter to The Guardian that condemned the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BSD) campaign against Israel and espousing the value of cultural engagement with the Jewish state over a cultural boycott.
More than 340 British academics fought back by pledging not to cooperate with Israeli academic institutions. JK Rowling answered critics by saying “Israel needs cultural bridges not boycotts” and stating that she had “never heard of a cultural boycott ending a bloody and prolonged conflict.”
US, Russia edge close to military collaboration in Syria and Iraq
Washington and Moscow are close to agreeing to their armed forces teaming up for war operations in Syria and Iraq. A comment suggesting the Obama administration’s new direction on Syria came from US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter Tuesday, Oct. 27: “We won't hold back,” he said, “from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against ISIL…or conducting such mission directly, whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground." The effect on Israel’s security is to be discussed in Washington talks between Carter Defense Minsiter Moshe Ya’alon.
October 28, 2015 Briefs
- Deputy head of CIA makes secret trip to Beirut
David Cohen, deputy director of the CIA, paid a lightning visit to Beirut lasting three hours several days ago, during which he met with Lebanese Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq, the head of Lebanon's intelligence services Abbas Ibrahim and chief of staff Jean Kahwaji to discuss ways of dealing with radical militants.
- Tehran helping Damascus confront US, Israel: Iranian general
The deputy commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said Tuesday that his forces in Syria would strengthen the country's regime because it is "on the front facing the American and Israeli enemies.”
- US to augment defense ties with Israel, Ashton Carter says
US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Tuesday that Washington is interested in tightening its defense ties with Israel in light of the security challenges in the Middle East, adding that "the defense relationship with Israel is stronger than ever." During an appearance with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon in Washington, he also said "Israel is a cornerstone of our strategy in the Middle East, and its security is a top priority for America, for our military, and President Obama and me personally."
- Ya’alon: Terrorists wielding missiles, nuclear attacks face Israel
During his US visit, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said on Tuesday that Israel now faces a wide variety of threats ranging from Islamic militants wielding missiles and rockets to nuclear attack. He was speaking with US Defense Secretary Ash Carter at the National Defense University in Washington. Ya’alon added: "The threat has been changed dramatically from conventional type warfare to what might be called super-conventional…weapons of mass destruction, or sub-conventional, like terror, rockets, and missiles.” Iran had not given up on its vision of a military nuclear capability, Ya’alon stressed.