A Digest of DEBKAfile Round-the-Clock Exclusives in Weeks Ending Nov. 26, 2015
Diary of Terror
Palestinian terror claims more Israeli lives. Ya’alon anti-terror policy is bankrupt
The unending Palestinian campaign to murder Israelis Friday, Nov.13, shattered another Israeli family. Gunmen shot dead Rabbi Yaakov Litman, 40, and his 18-year old son Nethanel, injuring his wife and another son of 13 and traumatizing their three small daughters. They were attacked on Highway 60 on the road running between Othniel and the Palestinian village of Dura in the Mt. Hebron district. The killer or killers shot the two Israeli men a second time at close range.
- Shadi Ahmed Matawa, 28, was turned in by his father and brother for shooting dead Rabbi Litman and his son Friday. They sought to save their Hebron home from being blown up in punishment.
- The radical northern branch of the Israeli Muslim Movement, headed by Sheikh Raad Saleh was declared an illegal association, its members liable to criminal prosecution for stirring up the current outbreak of Palestinian terrorist violence, especially on Temple Mount.
- Four Israeli Arabs from the town of Jaljulia are arrested recently trying to illegally reach Syria to join ISIS, a month after their friend managed to paraglide from the Golan into Syria
- A 16-year old Palestinian terrorist tried to stab an Israeli border policeman near the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron on Wednesday morning. He was captured before he could injure anyone.
- Five fatalities in two Palestinian terrorist attacks Thursday – two stabbed while praying at a Tel Aviv synagogue and three, in a combined shooting, car attack on the Hebron highway. Both terrorists were captured.
Palestinian terror claims 5 murders in a day as Hebron swings out of Shin Bet control
All five murders perpetrated on Thursday, Nov. 19, led back to the Hebron district of the southern West Bank. While anti-Jewish violence has been endemic to the region since 1929, the current wave was sparked more by internal Palestinian strife. Hebron’s clan chiefs are using it to further their aspirations to seize the Palestinian leadership from Ramallah.
- Friday night, Israeli troops raided and shut down the Palestinian Al-Halil radio station of Hebron
- The Palestinian terrorist who stabbed four Israelis in Kiryat Gath – a 13-year old girl seriously, was captured after a seven-hour hunt still holding the bloody knife during which the southern town was kept under curfew.
- Shmuel Ben Hillel, 60, from Tzur Hadassah, an Israeli adviser on education to the Mali government, died in the Islamist terrorist attack on the Radisson Blue Hotel in Bamako Friday. A second Israeli adviser was rescued with a group of hostages.
- Hadar Buchriss, 21, from Safed, was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist at the Gush Etzion intersection near Hebron on Sunday afternoon. The terrorist was shot and killed by IDF soldiers.. It was the third stabbing incident of the day.
- A knife-wielding female Palestinian terrorist brandishing a knife was knocked over by a quick-thinking Israeli motorist as she approached a group of Israelis at the entrance to the IDF Samaria Brigade's base. The Palestinian Authority later threatened the life of the motorist, Gershon Mesika, former head of the Samaria Regional Council.
- A terrorist driving an Israel-registered taxi ran over an Israeli group at the hitching post outside Kfar Adummim, then jumped out wielding a large knife. He was shot dead by two bystanders.
- Pvt Ziv Mizrahi, 18, from Givat Zeev, was stabbed to death Monday at the Dor gas station on Rte 443. He was with a female officer who had come to check the surveillance balloon flying over the Jerusalem-Modi’in-Tel Aviv highway.
A short time earlier, another Israeli man, a motorist, was hurt by a Palestinian firebomb near the Maccabim checkpoint on Rte 443.
- Palestinian schoolgirls aged 14 and 16 from Kalandia stabbed a man of 70 with scissors outside Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda street market. He was a fellow Palestinian from Beit Lehem. A border guard officer shot at the two girls, killing one and injuring the second.
- A Palestinian terrorist driving a vehicle hit an Israeli pedestrian near Homesh in the West Bank and fled.
- A Palestinian terrorist was shot dead when he tried to slash soldiers outside Samaria Brigade Command in the northern West Bank – the 5th attack in as many hours.
IDF plan for stemming terror. PM: It will die down
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon claim the Palestinian terrorists will eventually tire and throw in the sponge. Israel’s military and intelligence chiefs dispute this, fearing the attacks will soon cross the Green Line and bring the Fatah’s military wing, the Tanzim, into the fray with real fire power. They have put forward a 7-point plan which hinges on a total lockdown of Palestinian areas, revealed exclusively by debkafile.
- A Palestinian terrorist crashed his vehicle into a group of high Israeli officers, including a lieutenant colonel and a major who were inspecting security at the Tapuach intersection near Nablus. Four were injured. The terrorist was shot and wounded.
- An Israeli man was stabbed and badly hurt by a Palestinian who was shot dead by soldier at the Fawar junction in southern Mt. Hebron.
- Terrorist shot dead terrorist trying to stab Israelis at the Tapuach intersection near Nablus.
- debkafile: There is no truth to reports that the IDF advised arming Palestinian Authority security forces with firearms and bullet-resistant vehicles as an incentive to curb terrorist attacks.
Other News of the Week
November 13, 2015 Briefs
- Masked man believed Arab stabbed religious Jew in Milan
A masked assailant stabbed a 40-year old ultra-religious Israeli man, Nathan Graff, 40, who lives in Italy, 10 times outside a synagogue in central Milan. His victim was taken to hospital with moderate injuries.
November 14, 2015
At least 20 complicit in Paris terror assault
debkafile’s counterterrorism sources calculated that a team of at least 20, months of preparation and planning and an outer circle of 200 confederates went into the Paris massacre which left 129 dead and 352 injured – hardly a “lone wolf” operation. Their primary target was French President Francois Hollande. No advance warning of the coming outrage came from any French intelligence agency or even the all-seeing US ECHELON. debkafile: The French agencies work in the almost total absence of human intelligence from the closed Muslim communities of Paris.
November 15 2015 Briefs
- Obama and Putin talk for 30 minutes on G20 sidelines
For the first time in months, Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin talked for 30 minutes on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Turkey.
November 17, 2015 Briefs
- Russia formally attributes Metrojet airliner downing in Sinai to terror attack
Moscow is now sure that a terrorist bomb brought down a Russian passenger plane in the Sinai Peninsula at the end of October, the Kremlin announced Tuesday. Putin has offered a $50 m reward for information leading to the perpetrators.
- US Navy deploys aircraft carrier to the Middle East
The USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier and its strike group to return to the Middle East to assist in the war on ISIS alongside the French carrier, the Charles de Gaulle.
November 18, 2015 Briefs
- Jewish teacher stabbed in Marseille by three ISIS supporters
Police are hunting for three attackers who stabbed a Jewish school teacher, Rabbi Zion Saadon, in Marseille shouting support for ISIS (Daesh). He is in serious though not life-threatening condition.
- Netanyahu and Putin speak by phone, agree to meet at Paris climate summit
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by phone with President Vladimir Putin about the situation in Syria and the Palestinian issue, and agreed to meet on the sidelines of the UN climate summit in Paris.
- French counterterrorism raid ends with dead mastermind
The mastermind of the Paris terrorist attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was among three terrorists killed in a massive French police raid on an apartment in the Paris suburb of Saint Denis. Police took 5-7 live suspects in for questioning.
November 19, 2015 Briefs
- France under possible threat of biological or chemical attack
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Thursday that his country faces the possibility of a biological or chemical attack by radical Islamic terrorists in a speech asking parliament to extent the state of emergency for another three months. His request was granted.
ISIS threatens New York amid worldwide terror panic. Moroccan intel aid for France
Thursday Nov. 19, ISIS threatened a suicide attack on New York’s iconic Times Square, depicting a bomber unzipping his coat to display an explosive vest. The NYPD rushed to the scene. Anti-terror agencies are taking no chances after the string of terrorist slaughters claimed by the Islamic state in less than a month, while grappling with a flood of false alarms and wide popular panic. Failing to penetrate the reclusive Muslim community, French intelligence turned to Moroccan intelligence to discover the time and place of the terrorist get-together at the Saint Denis apartment.
November 20, 2015 Briefs
- Jonathan Pollard barred from traveling to Israel after release
The White House refuses to alter the conditions of Jonathan Pollard’s release from jail to enable him to travel to Israel. Pollard, 61, who was released from 30 years in prison for spying for Israel is obliged to spend five years in the US and report regularly to his local parole officer.
He was convicted in 1985 of passing classified information to Israel while employed as an analyst by the US Navy (the secret US spy agency specializing in counter-espionage). The case caused high friction between the US and Israel as well as controversy in Israel, because the Israeli embassy in Washington shut the gate against him when he fled FBI arrest, although his handlers were a secret unit in the Israeli Defense Ministry headed by Raffi Eytan. Shimon Peres (later President) was then prime minister.
November 21, 2015 Briefs
- Mali hotel siege ends with at least 21 dead
Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar reported 21 people killed in an Islamist attack on the Radisson Blue Hotel in Bamako Friday, and seven people injured. Saturday, the State Department revealed the death of US aid worker Anita Ashok Datar. The fierce Mourabitun branch of North African Al Qaeda (AQIM), led the attack on the American-owned hotel and US special forces took part in the operation to rescue 170 hostages.
- Belgium raises Brussels alert level to “serious, imminent”
The alert status for Brussels was raised to the highest level on Saturday, shutting the metro and warning the public to avoid crowds because of a "serious and imminent" threat of an attack. A week after the Paris assault by Islamic State terrorists, one suspect, Salah Abdeleslam, is at large in Brussels.
Massive Russian blanket air bombardment is flattening Raqqa
Russia is systematically reducing Raqqa, ISIS’s Syrian center, to rubble with air and missile strikes – the price for blowing up a Russian airliner three weeks ago. The Tu-95 bombers, flying in directly from the southern Russian Morozovsk air base, have conducted 75 air sorties against the town of 200,000 inhabitants.Russian technicians loading the bombs are marking them, “For ours,” and “For Paris.”
November 22, 2015 Briefs
- Trump and Rubio on counter-terror strategy
US Republican presidential contender Donald Trump said Sunday that in the wake of the ISIS terror attacks in Paris, he would ramp up surveillance at mosques, particularly in New York City. He would also bring back water-boarding and keep refugees on a watch list. Sen. Mark Rubiourged enlisting an Arab Sunni coalition force to fight ISIS on the ground and “embedding” US Special Operations units in that force.
- The “chemicals” found in the Brussels raid used for cheese production
debkafile reports that the chemicals found during the Belgian police raids of the Muslim Molenbeek suburb of Brussels were used for cheese-making and harmless.
- Anti-terror raid in Russia leave 10 ISIS-linked terrorists dead
Russia's Anti-Terrorism Committee said on Sunday that 10 militants had been killed in a special operation in Nalchik, in the southern Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. "They were all members of armed groups that had sworn allegiance to the international terrorist organization ISI,” the committee said. On Nov 10, Robert Zankishev, aka Abdullah, one of their leaders was killed in a firefight.
First Iranian fighter jets over Syria alongside Russian bombers
Dozens of Iranian F-14 and Mig-29 warplanes are flying over Syria alongside Russian heavy bombers 150 km from Israel’s borders. Under their protection, they gather high-value intelligence on Israel’s defenses. Normally, the Israeli Air Force would have fought off and shot down any Iranian warplanes turning up in Syrian air space, but they are protecting themselves by staying close to Russian bombers.
November 23, 2015 Briefs
- Netanyahu to Kerry: Wrong time for concessions to Palestinians
debkafile; This was the message Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sent Secretary of State John Kerry ahead of his visits to Jerusalem and Ramallah Tuesday. (See terrorist diary above)
- Putin in Tehran to coordinate ops in Syria, Iraq
Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Tehran for talks with Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani on tightened military coordination in Syria and Iraq.
- French warplanes from aircraft carrier strike ISIS targets in Iraq
French warplanes conduct first air strikes in Iraq from the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, targeting ISIS-held Ramadi and Mosul. The nuclear-powered Charles de Gaulle was deployed in the region after the multiple ISIS attacks on Paris.
November 24, 2015 Briefs
- Moscow could place nuclear weapons in Syria to counter Turkey: analysts
Leading Russian military commentators in Moscow said Tuesday evening that for Russia to place nuclear weapons in Syria was a real possibility if tensions with Turkey continue to rise.
- Warplanes to escort all Russian aircraft in Syria
The general staff also announced that all flights by Russian aircraft, including bombers, in Syrian airspace will be accompanied by Russian warplanes from now on.
- Russia denounces Turkey for downing Su-24
Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev accused Turkey of direct oil interests from supplies to ISIS and “criminal actions” and frozen pipeline a nuclear reactor projects. Putin slammed Turkey for stabbing Russia in the back by downing a Russian warplane.
- US issues first-ever worldwide travel alert
The State Department warned Monday that "Current information suggests that ISIL (aka Daesh), Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions,” and "US citizens should exercise vigilance.”.
November 25, 2015 Briefs
- Russian S-400 missiles boost military buildup in Syria
Russia is to deploy S-400 defense missile systems to its Hmeymim airbase near Latakia, Syria.
Their range is 250 kilometers and covers the Turkish border less than 50 kilometers away, as well as northern Israel.
- Russian defense minister pays conciliatory visit to Cairo
Russian Defense Minister Gen. Sergei Shoigu spent the last two days in Cairo in talks with President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi and his opposite Egyptian number Sedhi Sobhi Said. debkafile: Shoigu came on a fence-mending mission after the Egyptian-Russian falling-out over the culpability for the Metrojet airliner disaster.
US-Russian discord over Syria stoked by Turkey’s downing of the Russian warplane
The Russian-Turkish clash over the downing of the SU-29 by Turkish warplanes Tuesday, Nov. 24, has sharply ramped up the personal head-on-head between the US and Russian Presidents Obama and Putin over the fate of Bashar Assad. Obama maintains that the Syria war can’t end and ISIS can’t be defeated so long as Assad remains in power, whereas Putin counters that neither goal can be achieved if Assad goes. US-led NATO and Russian warships – the USS Truman and Charles de Gaulle carriers – are about to come into dangerous proximity with Russian biggest missile cruiser Moskva in the waters off Syria.
November 26, 2015 Briefs
- ISIS claims Tunis minibus attack killing 13
The body of a suicide bomber was found at the scene of the explosion against a bus carrying Tunisian presidential guards which left 13 dead. ISIS was repeatedly targets Tunisia claimed the attack.
- One dead, 40 injured in Israeli military bus accident
An armored bus carrying Israeli soldiers on Rte 458 between Rimonim and Kochav Hashahar overturned Thursday at midday. According to first reports, a female soldier was killed, four soldiers were badly hurt, 40 lightly injured.
- Russia tightens controls on Turkish farm and food imports
Following the Turkish downing of a Russian warplane, Moscow has retaliated with tighter controls on Turkish food and agricultural imports, citing violations of safety standards, after advising Russian holidaymakers to cancel trips to Turkey.
- Turkey capitulates, didn’t know the downed warplane was Russian
After a harsh Turkish-Russian slanging match, the Turkish Air Force conceded Wednesday night that the Turkish F-16s were ordered to shoot down the Su-24 before it was identified as a Russian warplane.
- Netanyahu meets Greek counterpart Tsipras, praises economic reforms
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and visiting Greek PM Alexis Tsipras held talks in Jerusalem Wednesday on a range of topics, including economic, technological, scientific, educational, trade, energy and agricultural cooperation. Netanyahu promised to promote Israeli investments in Greece.
- On target: Israel successfully tests 'Barak 8' missile
Israel conducted the first successful test of its 'Barak 8' missile, including the targeting and destruction of another missile, on Thursday afternoon off the central coast. Containing some systems developed jointly with the Indian military, the Barak 8 is designed to shoot down missiles, planes and drones, as well as defending offshore facilities such as oil or gas platforms.