A Digest of DEBKAfile Round-the-Clock Exclusives in Weeks Ending Oct. 8, 2015

October 1, 2015

  • Russia will consider an Iraqi requests for air strikes
    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday that his government would consider any Iraqi requests to conduct air strikes against Islamic State targets in that country.
  • Iraq invites Russian military aid to fight ISIS
    Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Thursday that he would welcome a deployment of Russian troops to Iraq to fight ISIS forces. Such intervention would not only help his country, he said, but also give Moscow the chance to deal with the approximately 2,500 Chechen Muslims who he said are fighting with ISIS in Iraq.
  • At UN, Netanyahu sounds alarm of growing Iranian threat
    In his speech at the General Assembly of the United Nations on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu accused Iran of an aggressive buildup of weapons and terrorism, saying that it added new fronts against Israel on the Golan and the West Bank, and that Tehran creates new terror cells worldwide every couple of weeks. The nuclear accord has changed nothing, he said and warned that the release of billions of dollars by ending sanctions will fuel Iran’s threat to the world and its ability to destroy the Jewish state. Israel will not let Iran “sneak or walk into the nuclear club.”

An Israeli couple shot dead by Palestinian terrorists

1 Oct. Eitam and Na’ama Henkin, both in their 30s, were killed Thursday evening, Oct. 1, when their car was sprayed with bullets as it passed through the West Bank village of Beit Fourik between Itamar and Alon Moreh. Their four young children on the back seat, aged 4 months, 4, 7, and 9 were unharmed. The two gunmen got out of their car and shot the couple again at close range. They fled to nearby Nablus. debkafile’s military sources report that crime was deliberately planned. The gunmen waylaid the car as it slowed down before a curve in the road and made a fast getaway.

October 2, 2015

  • Palestinian Authority incitement caused shooting – Ya’alon
    Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, IDF Chief of Staff Gady Eizenkot and Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen on Friday visited the area in the West Bank where Eitam and Na'ama Henkin were ambushed the night before as evidence of how Palestinian Authority incitement to violence on the Temple Mount was causing innocent bloodshed.
  • Israelis protest murder of young couple by terrorists
    Israeli residents of Samaria staged protests on Friday to condemn the terrorist shooting in which Eitam and Naama Henkin lost their lives. They pledged to rally in front of the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem until their demands are met to lift restrictions on IDF in counter-terror operations.

Chinese warplanes to join Russian air strikes in Syria. Russia gains Iraqi air base

2 Oct. Russia’s military intervention is expanding radically. debkafile reveals two new related developments: Chinese J-15 fighter bombers will soon join the Russian air campaign over Syria, taking off from the Liaoning-CV-16 aircraft carrier which is now deployed opposite Syria. And Iraq has given Moscow the use of the Al Taqaddum Air Base at Habbaniyah, 74 km west of Baghdad – both as a way station for the Russian air corridor to Syria and as a launching-pad for bombing missions against ISIS forces and infrastructure in northern Iraq and northern Syria. The Habbaniyah air base also serves US forces operating in Iraq, which number an estimated 5,000.

October 3, 2015

  • Putin fends off criticism in first meetings with Western leaders
    For the first time since he launched air strikes in Syria Vladimir Putin met western leaders Friday: Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Francois Hollande. The US-led coalition issued a joint statement calling on Moscow to immediately cease attacking Syrian opposition forces and focus on fighting ISIS.
  • A large Israeli force drives into Nablus to pursue Israeli couple’s killers
    The IDF early Saturday sent a large column of troops in armored cars into Nablus, one of the seven Palestinian-ruled towns of the West Bank, in pursuit of the terrorists who murdered Eitam and Na’ameh Henkin in a drive-by shooting ambush Thursday night.
  • Israeli couple unhurt in another terrorist shooting
    For the second time in 12 hours, an Israeli car came under gunfire outside Maale Adummim east of Jerusalem early Saturday. The couple in the second car escaped injury. Palestinian rock and firebomb attacks continued in and around Jerusalem.
  • Two Israeli men stabbed to death in Jerusalem Old City
    Aharon Bennet, 21, an IDF serviceman, his wife Adele and 2-year old child were stabbed in the old City of Jerusalem on their way to the Kotel. Bennett died of his wounds as did Rabbi Rabbi Nehamia Lavi, 41, who came to the rescue. The terrorist then snatched Bennett’s gun and started shooting at passersby before he was shot dead by Border Guard police. Adele was seriously hurt and their child hit in the foot. When she went in search of help, with a knife in her back, Palestinian passersby and shopkeepers spat in her face and laughed. Entry to the Old City was restricted for the last two days of Succot to Palestinian residents and shopkeepers, Israelis and tourists.

Terror surge after IDF forces cutback on West Bank. Four Israelis dead

3 Oct. Amid a wave of terror that has hit Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria during the holiday of Sukkot, and which has already resulted in the murder of four Israelis, a finger may be pointed at IDF Chief of Staff Gady Eisenkot, who diluted IDF strength in those areas, which were considered under control, in favor of other fronts. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon approved.

October 4, 2015

  • Netanyahu: New emergency measures to stem terror
    Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Friday ordered demolitions of killer-terrorist homes as part of a package of measures for containing current surge of Palestinian terror. More military forces were also pumped into the most affected areas of Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. Deep police raids and a presence are already being conducted in the Jerusalem neighborhoods that produce aggressive Palestinian outbreaks. Netanyahu faces rising criticism from members of his coalition government and his own Likud party. They say his lax approach to Palestinian violence in recent months produced the current crisis.
  • Israeli soldier injured in continuing Palestinian terror attacks
    Palestinian firebombs and rocks thrown at the Border Guard police detail guarding Rachel’s Tomb Sunday injured an Israeli policeman. At a mob riot in the Jerusalem village Issawiyeh, a Palestinian was shot in the leg while hurling rocks. These villagers constantly throw rocks at Hadassah hospital on nearby Mt. Scopus. Outbreaks continued of violence and clashes with Israeli security forces. A second stabbing attack in Jerusalem wounds Israeli teen. The attacker was shot dead.

October 5, 2015

  • Hamas cell nabbed for murder of Na’ama and Eitam Henkin
    Four days after the couple Na’ama and Eitam Henkin were murdered in a drive-by shooting ambush in front of their four children, Israel security forces Monday announced they had laid hands of the Hamas five-man cell in Nablus responsible for the attack. They all confessed. Each was allotted a task: Two gunmen, one driver, another as lookout and the commander. During the Jewish High Holidays season terrorists killed four Israelis and injured 30.
  • Spreading Palestinian disturbances, clashes with Israeli troops
    As the Simhat Torah festival ended Monday night, Palestinians mobs stepped up their violent attacks with rocks, firebombs and explosive devices in the Jerusalem’s Old City and neighborhoods, as well as Bethlehem and Hebron – altogether 22 outbreaks in one day, in which 2 Palestinian rioters were killed and 20 injured by Israeli security forces.
  • NATO sharply reprimands Russia
    NATO Monday called on Russia to “cease and desist” violating Turkish-NATO air space and immediately stop attacks on opposition and civilians. Earlier, Moscow admitted that a Russian warplane had inadvertently violated Turkish air space in a sortie against Syria close to the border, after Ankara lodged a formal complaint.
  • ISIS trashes Palmyra’s iconic Arch of Triumph
    Syrian authorities report that Islamic State terrorists have blown up the monumental Arch of Triumph, centerpiece of the 1,800-year old Roman city, the latest outrage in their step-by-step demolition of priceless relics since they occupied the UNESCO heritage city of Palmyra in May.
  • Israeli air force strikes Hamas Gaza facility
    Another Palestinian rocket from Gaza exploded in the Eshkol region Sunday night on vacant ground, alerting the population on the eve of the Simhat Torah festival. An Israeli air strike followed against a Hamas facility in Gaza.

With Russia’s Dep. Army Chief due in Israel, Moscow posts 64 S-300 ship-to-air missiles off Syria, N. Israel

5 Oct. Russia’s deputy chief of staff, Gen. Nikolay Bogdanovsky leads a large military delegation which arrived in Israel Tuesday, Oct. 6, for two days of talks on increased coordination between the two militaries. Moscow sent an altogether different message: Friday, Oct. 2, with the arrival of the Russian Navy cruiser, the Moskva, armed with 64 advanced anti-aircraft missiles S-300 ship-to-air missiles opposite the Syrian coastal town of Latakia. debkafile: Moscow has created an effective no-fly zone over Syria, N. Israel, S. Turkey, Jordan and Cyprus. Ahead of the visit, Netanyahu warned of strong action in store for any bid to give Hizballah nuclear arms – his first mention of this prospect.

October 6, 2015

  • Palestinian riots infect Israeli Arabs in Jaffa
    Hundreds of pro-Palestinian Israeli Arabs clashed with police in Jaffa, a suburb of Tel Aviv, Tuesday night. Extra police were brought in when more protesters kept on coming in, brandishing Palestinian flags, blocking streets and throwing rocks that injured several police officers. In Hebron, Palestinians opened fire on Israeli troops.
    Armed Palestinians opened fire on IDF troops who tried to put down a disturbance in the center of Hebron on Tuesday. It was the second case of Palestinian gunfire on Israeli security forces in 12 hours. The first was outside Ramallah. In both cases, fire was returned and no one hurt.
  • Second Russian air violation of Turkish sky
    After the second Russian violation of Turkish airspace, NATO said Tuesday that "It doesn’t “look like an accident.”
  • Palestinian Authority makes huge payouts to convicted terrorists
    The Palestinian Authority has for years paid out – and still pays out – hundreds of thousands of shekels to individual Palestinian terrorists sentenced in Israel to long jail sentences for multiple murder, according to official PA documents. Among them are Hamas operatives responsible for deadly attacks in Israel, such as Hamas bombmaker Abdullah Barghouti, who is serving 67 life sentences (for 67 murders). He has so far received 4 million shekels (around $1 million); and Ibrahim Hamed, head of the Hamas West Bank military wing, who has received 200,000 shekels since he was sentenced to 54 life terms. Every rank-and-file terrorist is awarded a stipend of up to 10,000 shekels per month while behind bars. Under the reign of Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority, therefore, the rewards of terror are substantial and long-lasting.
  • Israeli forces demolish killer terrorists’ homes in Jerusalem
    Shortly after midnight, Israel security forces began blowing up and leveling the Jerusalem homes of three terrorists who murdered Israeli civilians in three attacks in 2014.

October 7, 2015

  • Khamenei bans further negotiations with US
    Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday there would be no more talks with the US after the nuclear deal, contradicting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani who offered talks with Washington on Syria. "Through negotiations Americans seek to influence Iran … but there are naive people in Iran who don't understand this," Khamenei was quoted as saying to the IRGC commanders.
  • Netanyahu: We are in the midst of a wave of terror
    Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said after a briefing at Jerusalem city police headquarters Wednesday: “We are still n the middle of a wave of terror. We are dealing firmly with terrorists, lawbreakers and inciters, placing all our resources at the disposal of security forces and employing the necessary methods for combating this wave of terror, he said. Because of the terror crisis, Netanyahu cancelled his scheduled trip to Berlin Thursday over the terror crisis, and will miss the annual two-day government-to-government session, which this year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of German-Israel diplomatic ties.
  • Russia cruise missiles from Caspian Sea strike ISIS in Syria
    Four Russian warships in the Caspian Sea Tuesday fired 26 cruise missiles against 11 ISIS targets in Syria, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu disclosed. The missiles flew 1,500 kilometers to their targets over Iran and Iraq, after coordination with both governments. “All targets were destroyed and no civilians hurt,” the minister said.
  • Naftali Bennet resigns from the Knesset
    Education Minister Naftali Bennet Wednesday gave up his Knesset seat to Shuli Mualem, fellow member of their HaBayit HaYehudi party. He stays on as minister.
  • Sting nabs smugglers seeking to sell nuclear materials to ISIS
    The FBI and Moldovan investigators have broken up a major Eastern European organized crime gangs project for selling radioactive materials for a “dirty bomb” to ISIS. It was the fourth such attempt by criminal gangs believed to have strong ties to the Russian security establishment. The smugglers were arrested in Moldova after they provided the undercover agents with samples of their wares.

Terror crisis worsens with new stabbing attacks: Backlash for ineffective anti-terror policy

7 Oct. The Palestinians further stoked their anti-Israel assaults Wednesday. Oct. 7, as Israeli Arab solidarity outbreaks spread to three Israeli towns.
Palestinian rocks injured two Israeli drivers Wednesday on the road between Jerusalem and Tekoa. One driver a woman in her 40s, was rescued when a group of Palestinians tried to pull her out of her car.
In Jerusalem, an 18-year old Palestinian girl stabbed an Israeli man near Lions Gate. Although injured, he shot her, inflicting serious injuries.
A pedestrian was stabbed outside the big Petach Tikva mall east of Tel Aviv before the terrorist was grabbed. A Palestinian from Hebron stabbed two Israeli soldiers in Kiryat Gat, grabbed one of their automatic rifles and burst into an apartment in a nearby building. When the gun jammed, he grabbed a kitchen knife and attacked a woman and her mother, before police arrived and shot him dead. In Lydda, local Israeli Arabs staged a pro-Palestinian rally.
debkafile: This is the backlash for “calm and responsible” approach to Palestinian terror advocated by PM Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon – which mutinous ministers are calling “soft” and which Palestinians regard as Israeli weakness. Netanyahu’s policy of linking the Palestinian and coalition crises to be confronted by political means has left him cornered on both fronts and the country with a pervasive sense of menace round every corner.

October 8, 2015 Briefs

  • Russia launches second cruise missile attack on ISIS
    Russia’s Defense Ministry said Thursday that it launched cruise missiles at ISIS targets in Syria overnight, targeting command centers, ammunition dumps, training camps and facilities for production of explosives and artillery shells.
  • Palestinian stabbing attacks spread to Israeli cities
    In four stabbing attacks in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Hebron and Afula, eight Israelis were seriously injured. Two of the Palestinians were killed. Nine Israeli policemen were injured in an exchange of fire and rock attacks at the Jerusalem district of Shoafat.
  • Netanyahu fails to defuse tension by barring Temple Mount to ministers, MKs
    In an effort to contain the current wave of Palestinian terror, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu barred ministers and members of parliament from Jerusalem's Temple Mount until further notice. The step was intended to reduce tensions and deny Palestinians a pretext for continuing wave of terror. The step boomeranged after the Prime Minister’s Office clarified that the order applied to Arab lawmakers and public figures as well as Jewish ministers and lawmakers. Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi thereupon announced that he would lead a large Arab delegation to Friday prayers on Temple Mount. Jewish lawmakers said they too would defy the order.
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