A Digest of debkafile Round-the-Clock Exclusives in Week Ending September 22, 2005

Sheikh Raad, radical head of the Northern Islamic Movement of Israel, inflames audience against Israel


16 September: He alleged Friday that “al Aqsa is in grave danger” from so-called Israeli plan to build a Jewish suburb at the foot of Temple Mount in Jerusalem This was said in a rabble-rousing speech to tens of thousands of followers assembled in the Israeli Arab town of Umm al Fahm. He ordered thousands must make special trips to al Aqsa every day in special buses. debkafile reports: Since serving a jail sentence for collaboration with Palestinian terrorists and Hizballah, Sheikh Salah has been laying the groundwork for an Israeli Islamic militia.


Twenty Gazans intercepted at S. Israel-Egyptian border in last five days


16 September: Israeli border police have their hands full stemming the flow of Palestinian infiltrators since the Egyptian border police opened the Gazan border wide. Uncontrolled traffic from Gaza into Egypt continued Friday. Some circled round and entered southern Israel across the unguarded Egyptian border. Israel’s Northern Negev population placed on terror alert after an attempted Palestinian infiltration of Netiv Ha’asara and Yad Mordecai outside the Gaza Strip.


Saudi F-15 Fighter-Bombers Relocated in the N. Saudi air base of Tabuk, violating a Two-year US-Israel-Saudi Understanding


17 September: They were moved out of range of Israel in 2003 at US and Israeli insistence when al Qaeda was found recruiting Saudi pilots for a 9/11-type strike against Israeli cities. Since they returned to Tabuk, the al Qaeda recruitment drive has been stepped up, prompting heightened preparedness in Eilat, Israel’s Red Sea town.

debkafile‘s military sources report that from Tabuk, Saudi planes can reach not only Eilat but Jerusalem and Tel Aviv further north.

September 9, Lt.-Gen Moshe Yaalon, then Israeli chief of staff, said publicly: “We have discovered from sources other than our own that al Qaeda is prospecting for a Saudi air force or civil aviation pilot to strike an Israeli city in the same sort of attack as the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington. He was referring to intelligence, received in the course of regular US-Israeli swaps of terror data, that al Qaeda’s was busy at the Tabuk air base seeking out recruits among Saudi flight crews willing to fly an F-15 out of the base to ram an Israeli city.

Israel then appealed urgently to Washington to prevail upon the Saudis to move their air crews and warplanes out of Tabuk. The Americans acceded to the request and within a short time, an understanding was reached between the US, which supplied the F-15s, the Saudis and Israel to move the F-15s and their air crews out of Tabuk.

Their recent return contradicts these understandings


Al Qaeda Is Calling for “Volunteers” to Fight with the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip


17 September: In statements running all Saturday, Sept 17, over its websites, internet radio and e-mail, al Qaeda told followers: Now is your chance. Hurry up and make your way to the Philadelphi route crossing from Sinai. Contrary to Palestinian claims that the Gazan-Egyptian border is finally closed after six days of uncontrolled mass traffic, debkafile reports thousands continue to stream both ways, together with a steady flow of terrorists and arms from Sinai.


The Palestinians, Led by Hamas, the Best-armed Terrorists in the World


17 September: debkafile reveals: Thanks to their free entry through the Sinai-Gaza border gateway, they have smuggled in since Tuesday, Sept 13 many millions of dollars worth of war materiel plus terrorist reinforcements, including al Qaeda adherents.

debkafile‘s intelligence and military sources list the Palestinians’ impressive new stockpile:

1. 3,000 automatic rifles.

2. Hundreds of AT-23 Sagger anti-tank missiles.

3. SAM-14 Strela anti-air missiles – quantity unknown.

4. Improved Qassam surface missiles. Their range is 13km or 18km, depending on whether Israeli or Egyptian intelligence evaluations are accepted. The shorter-range can reach Ashkelon, the longer one can menace the southern suburbs of the Ashdod port town, Ashkelon, Kiryat Gath, Kiryat Malachi (where the Israeli President’s private home is located), Ofakim, Netivot and prime minister Ariel Sharon’s Sycamore Ranch.

5. Land mines.

6. More than 250 tons of explosives.

Hamas, Jihad Islami and other Palestinian groups have been on a shopping spree,

getting their lethal merchandise through Iranian and Hizballah agents – as well as al Qaeda buyers – with contacts in local gangs of arms traffickers in Serbia, Slovakia, Montenegro, Croatia and Kosovo.


Israel to press UK to rewrite law on arbitrary private “war crimes” warrants against foreigners


18 September: Prime minister Ariel Sharon cannot be sure he will not face the same warrant as ex-General Doron Almog if he visits England. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, asked if the Israeli PM faced prosecution, said “I don’t think so, but it is a matter for the courts, not me.”

Justice minister Tsipi Livni is formulating a request to Britain to change the law that authorizes any private citizen to prosecute a foreigner for war crimes. One proposal is that such warrants be approved by the attorney general before they take effect. On the Almog case, she said: “It is unconscionable that a soldier who fought for his country against terrorists should fear to set foot in a friendly nation.”


debkafile Analysis: North Korean nuclear accord weakens Iran’s position


19 September: The North Korean nuclear breakthrough is a major diplomatic victory for the Bush administration. The achievement is timely in that isolates Iran as nuclear transgressor on the day of the UN nuclear watchdog’s board meeting in Vienna on the European demand to refer Iran’s violations to the UN Security Council for sanctions. Tehran loses a fellow nuclear rogue for help in solving technical problems that continue to dog its nuclear program and its collaborator in the development of long-range, nuclear-capable missiles. In the past Tehran and Pyongyang exchanged delegations of military scientists.

Iranian and Syrians working in North Korea’s nuclear industry will be forced to return home. Their secret contracts will go by the board. Moscow will also have to limit its nuclear contracts with Tehran to the restrictions of the new deal with Pyongyang.


Egypt wants to spread its security coordination venture to Ramallah and East Jerusalem, building on its “brilliant Gaza performance”


20 September: debkafile‘s military sources report that the Egyptians propose to build on their Gaza “feat” to set up in Ramallah a coordination center on the Gaza model. They see themselves taking charge of Palestinian security forces and the policing of the West Bank and Arab Jerusalem and its environs.

In the Gaza Strip meanwhile, Egyptian border police and a delegation of intelligence generals in the Gaza Strip continue to stand by as people, terrorists and weapons stream across the Sinai-Gaza border and the territory evacuated by Israel deteriorates into a Hamas stamping ground.

Conscious of how sensitive the suggestion of Egyptian officers operating in Jerusalem can be, Cairo did not put forward a formal proposal, just a general thought for discussion. This too was how the military protocols governing the failed Egyptian border police security operation on the Philadelphi border strip started out.

Surprisingly, the Jordanians were not as totally against the plan as expected. They were prepared to give it some thought under certain conditions.

debkafile‘s sources report the impression gained from Jordanian officials is that they are no longer sure how much Sharon is prepared to give away to the Palestinians. They fear he may even present the Hashemite kingdom with accomplished facts on the common Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian border that may come out of future negotiations with the Palestinians. That being the case, Amman may conceivably prefer the Egyptian military on the West Bank to an uncertain, transient Israeli presence.

Up until now, the Sharon government has not contested the revival of Palestinian national activity in Jerusalem through the reopened Orient House. The symbolic institution was closed down some years ago to prevent the Palestinian Authority pre-empting peace talks and stealing a march on Israel in its capital. Now it is again open for business.


Ariel Sharon is on the point of stepping down. Barring a last-minute change of heart, the Israeli prime minister plans to retire to his Sycamore Ranch


21 September: debkafile‘s political sources report that private opinion polls conducted by his team indicated that all critical Likud votes would go against him. Monday, the central committee will decide to bring forward the leadership primary from April to December, as demanded by his rivals Netanyahu and Landau.

He is not expected to fight this decision or respond by setting up a new party alliance. Our Washington sources add that President Bush has been informed of Sharon’s plan to retire.


Shin Beth chief confirms debkafile disclosures of massive Palestinian arms smuggling through uncontrolled Sinai-Gaza crossing. They include recoilless guns


September 21: Yuval Diskin said the Palestinian Authority had lost control of the Gaza Strip, Abu Mazen’s Fatah party was falling apart and the Hamas gaining strength. The PA is incapable of exercising law and order let alone disarming terrorist groups. The Shin Beit will oppose any Gaza-West Bank land link as armed Palestinian groups were striving to transfer their tools of terror to the West Bank as their next arena.

He revealed five recoilless guns were among the tons of explosives, surface, anti-air and anti-tank missiles, and rocket-propelled grenades flooding into Gaza in last nine days. Palestinian Sinai arms dumps were now bare, sending the price of arms in the peninsula skyrocketing.


Abu Mazen’s Palestinian Authority purchased smuggled weapons


September 21: The disclosure means the Palestinian Authority has not only dishonored all the accords reached with Israel for its Gaza withdrawal, but actually instigated and funded part of the Palestinian gun-running. In his briefing to the Knesset foreign affairs and security committee Tuesday, Sept 21, Mofaz gave no indication of how Israel meant to handle these violations.


Palestinian terrorist groups plot joint kidnaps of Israeli soldiers newly deployed outside Gaza borders


September 21:Hamas-Jihadi Islami, Fatah-al Aqsa Brigades and Popular Committees agreed on this joint tactic Tuesday, Sept 21 as their first post-pullout operations inside Israel. They intend striking before the new Israeli lines are fully equipped with barriers and electronic defenses.

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