DEBKAfile Special Report August 9, 2013, 1:13 PM (GMT+02:00)
The formal Israeli-Palestinian meeting scheduled for next Wednesday, Aug. 14 is the outer shell of the secret hard-core negotiations bouncing back and forth for weeks between US Secretary of State John Kerry, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, debkafile reports. The real talks are near a climax on the core issues of borders, Jerusalem, refugees and settlements. Kerry convened Jewish American leaders at the White House Thursday, Aug. 8, to advise them of the “strategic imperative” to arrive at a deal soon.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 9, 2013, 12:23 AM (GMT+02:00)
Saudi Arabia awaits Putin’s reply to a proposition $15bn for scaling back Russian backing for Bashar Assad. Until then, the planned US-Arab operation against Assad hangs fire, despite heavy pressure from Israel to save Aleppo.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 7, 2013, 12:43 PM (GMT+02:00)
A senior Israeli official commented Tuesday, Aug. 6, that Israel could attack Iran’s nuclear program on its own without American back-up – albeit less effectively than with the US – meaning the destruction of key components but not the entire program. debkafile: Israel is starting to accept that President Barack Obama’s balking at military action in Syria applies equally to Iran. Netanyahu is counting on winning the US Congress around to Israel’s case as his last resort against Obama’s policy. So for now, Iran’s nuclear program can run without interference.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 2, 2013, 12:31 AM (GMT+02:00)
John Kerry has undertaken two impossible goals: Reaching a final-status accord in nine months of Israel-Palestinian negotiations and holding them in total secrecy.
Kerry in secret final-status talks with Netanyahu and Abbas on borders, security, Jerusalem, Jordan Valley
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 30, 2013, 8:59 AM (GMT+02:00)
The ceremonial launch of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in Washington early Tuesday, July 30, made a photogenic front for the real brass-tacks bargaining on the core Middle East dispute issues which Secretary of State John Kerry has been handling discreetly with the principals, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. This was revealed exclusively in the last DEBKA Weekly issue of Friday, July 26. Kerry has been pushing quietly for answers on borders, security, the Jordan Rift Valley and Jerusalem.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis July 28, 2013, 8:23 AM (GMT+02:00)
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s willingness to “do everything” to avoid giving the Palestinians a pretext for not turning up for their first encounter with Israeli negotiators in Washington Tuesday, July 30, bodes ill for Israel’s bargaining position right from the start. So too does his proposal to include jailed Israeli Arabs among the 104 Palestinian prisoners to be released. debkafile: John Kerry is constructing a kind of US superstructure with Arab components to stand over the Israeli and Palestinian negotiators and their principals in Jerusalem and Ramallah.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 25, 2013, 11:05 PM (GMT+02:00)
The Obama letters to Netanyahu and Abbas are key to the opening of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians as per Kerry’s initiative. He has set up four mechanisms for controlling every aspect of the talks.
US to media: Israel struck Latakia arsenal last week. Will Putin and Assad make good on threats of reprisal?
DEBKAfile Special Report July 13, 2013, 9:00 AM (GMT+02:00)
US officials exposed Israel's challenge to Russia, Syria, Iran and Hizballah when they named the Israeli Air Force Saturday, July 13 as responsible for the air strikes against the big Syria arms depot in Latakia eight days ago. debkafile: Russian-supplied Yakhont anti-ship missiles were destroyed in the explosions, and the Syrian-Hizballah Aleppo offensive was delayed by the loss of the arsenal accumulated for the attack. Russian President Vladimir Putin, Bashar Assad, Hizballah and Tehran had all earlier threatened reprisals if Israel attacked Syria again.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 11, 2013, 11:02 PM (GMT+02:00)
Netanyahu like King Abdullah proved able to think on their feet in the Egyptian crisis and act directly without referring to Washington. Israeli intel and drones made available to support Egyptian offensive against the Muslim Brotherhood and Sinai Salafists.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 11, 2013, 11:02 PM (GMT+02:00)
The explosions of big Syrian arsenals in Latakia are still a mystery. However, the weapons piled up for the Syrian-Hizballah Aleppo offensive were destroyed, as well as the advanced Russian Yakhon anti-ship cruise missiles.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 30, 2013, 2:04 PM (GMT+02:00)
US Secretary of State John Kerry wound up his fifth peace shuttle trip for reviving Israel-Palestinian peace talks Sunday, June 30, when Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas turned down the US blueprint for both sides to forego preconditions and return straightaway to the long-stalled peace talks. Abbas reverted to his three-point ultimatum: Israel must first accept 1967 borders as the basis for negotiations, release Palestinians jailed more than 20 years and freeze West Bank and Jerusalem construction. The Secretary, who left Ramallah empty-handed, says he’ll be back in a few weeks.
Israeli leaders rebut criticism of under-reacting to threats from Syria by hinting at covert operations
DEBKAfile Special Report June 28, 2013, 6:01 PM (GMT+02:00)
Senior Israeli officers in the North estimate that the IDF’s performance is just 40 percent of what is required for defending Israel’s border against the threats building up from the Golan. For too long, Israeli intelligence has been in thrall to the misconception that Bashar Assad’s days are numbered and underestimated Hizballah’s combat effectiveness in the Syrian war. Friday, an Iron Dome anti-missile battery was finally deployed to the northern town of Haifa, after a different kind of rhetoric came from Israeli leaders.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 27, 2013, 11:52 PM (GMT+02:00)
Rebel factions in Aleppo are deeply fractured and disorganized. They say promised US weapons never arrived. Assad plans to stage a terrorist campaign against Israel from the Golan to steal attention from expected atrocities for conquering Aleppo.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 27, 2013, 11:51 PM (GMT+02:00)
Abbas plans to go through the motions of direct talks with Israel, then after a couple of sessions, claim they have failed and hand in the keys of the Palestinian Authority to the UN.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 21, 2013, 12:12 AM (GMT+02:00)
The US and Iran embarked on secret direct nuclear negotiations a week before Hassan Rouhani was elected Iranian president. Obama has agreed to let Iran’s nuclear program go forward up to a point just short of assembling a bomb. Saudi Arabia and Israel are furious.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 21, 2013, 12:11 AM (GMT+02:00)
Netanyahu sent Obama a summary of Hassan Rouhani’s memoir detailing the right way to keep Iran’s nuclear program running without antagonizing the West enough to elicit sanctions. Lifting sanctions is his top priority for getting to grips with the economy.
Moscow sets up Russian Golan brigade, warns Israel Sunnis plus al Qaeda are bigger threat than Assad
DEBKAfile Special Report June 10, 2013, 7:54 PM (GMT+02:00)
Moscow is determined to position Russian troops on the divided Golan as part of the UN force policing the separation sector because, said the Russian lawmaker Aleksey Pushkov Monday, June 10, “we cannot exclude… large-scale Syrian-Israel action.” He warned that if Assad was replaced by radical Islamists, he would seem like “an angel from heaven.” Vladimir Shamanov, Russian Airborne Troops chief, disclosed that a new brigade, dubbed “a peacekeeping unit,” had set up for the Golan and armed with MI-24 combat helicopters.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 8, 2013, 7:40 PM (GMT+02:00)
The Kremlin pointedly disclosed President Vladimir Putin’s chat with Binyamin Netanyahu on Syria Friday June 7 - their third conversation in a month. debkafile: The frequent communications between the Russian and Israeli leaders speak volumes about who is calling the shots for Syria and the region.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 7, 2013, 12:20 AM (GMT+02:00)
The request to Binyamin Netanyahu from Ali Khamenei was routed through Barack Obama. Its outcome was a flood of harsh US sanctions and Washington’s nod for a unilateral Israeli attack on Iran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 30, 2013, 11:44 PM (GMT+02:00)
Moscow is challenging Israel to make good on its threats to knock out the S-300 or lose credibility. But Israel needs a US guarantee of military backup in case its action spirals into a major conflict with Syria and its allies.