IDF Commanders: Time for decisive war move after IDF victories in Shejaiya, E. Rafah and Khan Younes
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis July 23, 2014
Senior IDF commanders said Wednesday July 23 that it was time for a decisive war move. Dismantling Hamas’ tunnel network would take weeks, they said, but the critical encounter for completing their mission and bringing the war to a close remained to be fought after three key IDF victories: The battle for Shejaiya grabbed the headlines, but the confrontations in Rafah and Khan Younes in southern Gaza were just as important. The commanders urge a large-scale assault on the subterranean complex housing Hamas’ top military command.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 21, 2014
Another seven IDF officers and men died in combat with Hamas Monday, July 21 on the fourth day of Israel’s ground operation in the Gaza Strip, raising the total of Israeli fallen in this operation to 25. Four men were killed guarding the Israeli side of the Gaza border by terrorists who jumped out of a tunnel 200 meters from Kibbutz Nir Am, disguised in IDF uniforms and flak vests. Ten were killed in a counter-attack aided by helicopters, averting a major terrorist attack or kidnap: A truce remains elusive as Hamas stands by unacceptable terms.
Israel launched its Gaza ground operation cautiously in the South. Hamas runs to shelter in crowded towns
DEBKAfile Special Report July 18, 2014
After artillery and air strikes softened up the terrain, Israel launched the ground phase of Operation Defensive Edge against Hamas Thursday night, July 17 in the north and the south. Their first action targeted the southern towns of Khan Younes and Rafah. IDF Chief, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz confirmed to the cabinet Friday that the IDF is focusing on southern Gaza at this stage, with the potential for expanding into further areas. debkafile: The troops have not yet reached Gaza City, although destroying Hamas’ bunker infrastructure there is key to the operation’s success.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 17, 2014
If Israel is to destroy Hamas’ Gaza-based control centers, weapons, and top commanders, it will need superior intelligence and control of the electronic front.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 17, 2014
Netanyahu is relying on only two advisors to wage the war on Hamas in Gaza, and his over-reliance on air strikes and hopes for a quick ceasefire have proved this to be unwise.
IDF ground forces attack Gaza amid air, sea and artillery pounding. Half a million Gazans told to leave. Israelis around Gaza sent to shelters
DEBKAfile Special Report July 17, 2014
Israel air, sea and artillery pounded the Gaza Strip Thursday night, July 17, as IDF ground forces embarked on a ground attack, just announced by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. debkafile reports a softening-up operation to prepare for the entry of armored and infantry units. The IDF calls on the half million Gazans of southern towns of Khan Younes and Rafah to leave their homes for their own safety. Israelis living close to the Gaza border were advised to stay in bomb shelters.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 16, 2014
As the Israeli Cabinet delayed a decision on the next stage of the Gaza operation, the Hamas Wednesday, July 16, launched its heaviest barrage yet against Tel Aviv and its outlying towns, using M-75 missiles, after a relatively quiet night. debkafile: Israel faces a new dilemma after the breakdown of the Gaza truce: Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s expects it to lead the way in a knockout blow against Hamas, the Palestinian branch of his archenemy the Muslim Brothers. He would then collect the rewards. Israel wants Egypt to go first.
Unilateral Gaza ceasefire collapses. Israeli air strikes resume after dozens of Palestinian rockets in hours
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 15, 2014
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon ordered the Israeli Air Force to resume strikes over Gaza Tuesday afternoon, six hours after a ceasefire proposed by Egypt, accepted by Israel and rejected by Hamas, was due to go into effect. During those hours, dozens of Hamas rockets raked town after town and village after village. debkafile: The White House called off US Secretary of State John Kerry’s Cairo visit upon finding Tehran’s hand behind the rockets. Netanyahu goes on the air at 8 p.m. to explain what went wrong.
Israel ramps up Gaza air strikes, tells Gazans to evacuate border areas, after Hamas’ blanket rocket fire on Tel Aviv. Rockets from Lebanon
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis July 13, 2014
The Hamas-IDF contest spiraled to its highest level in three frantic hours Saturday night, July 12: Hamas hurled 10 rockets at the broader Tel Aviv area after one-hour’s notice, and for the first time targeted the Modiin-Maccabim-Reut cluster of central Israel. The Israeli air force reacted with heavy carpet bombardment the length and breadth of the Gaza Strip, followed by a IDF notice to Palestinian residents of northern Gaza to evacuate their homes for their own safety, as the area would be hit with great force in the next 24 hours.
DEBKAfile DEBKA Weekly July 12, 2014
As Palestinian-Israeli rancor exploded in a military duel with Hamas in Gaza, the tit-for-tat murders of kidnapped teens and firebomb-rock-wielding riots by Israeli Arabs, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu presented a calm front as though everything was under control. That front is about to be severely tested. The latest DEBKA Weekly out last Friday detailed how Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) behind his peace mask is secretly stirring his people up for a fateful war on Israel. He is plotting an all-encompassing “Third Intifada” - more lethal than the first two, to place Israel in extreme peril.
Hamas rockets move north up to Haifa. Katyushas from Lebanon aimed at Metulla. Israeli artillery returns fire
DEBKAfile Special Report July 11, 2014
Another half a million Israelis came under rocket attack before dawn Friday, July 11, as Hamas again expanded its rocket radius up to Haifa, 150 km north of the Gaza Strip. A woman of 70 collapsed and died running for shelter after the Haifa siren. Two Katyusha rockets from Lebanon alerted Metullah, Israel’s northernmost town, early Friday. One landed between the Galilee town and Kfar Yuval. There were no casualties. debkafile: It came from a Beqaa village under Hizballah rule. IDF artillery returned the fire. Hamas rocket attacks resumed against southern Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 11, 2014
Israel’s reliance on air strikes and intelligence mean Hamas’ underground bunkers and infrastructure remain untouched, and ground troops are the only way to take them out.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 11, 2014
Netanyahu fails to take advantage of a lack of international will to intervene in the Israel-Hamas fray, avoiding putting boots on the ground in Gaza as both sides escalate.
DEBKAfile Special Report July 5, 2014
In less than a week, Israel is trapped in a maelstrom of violence arising from the Netanyahu government laxness after the traumatic discovery on July 30 of the bodies of the Israeli teenagers, Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrach, kidnapped and slain by Hamas. Two days later, a Palestinian boy, Muhammad Abu Khdeir, was found murdered in Jerusalem, sparking Arab riots amid scores of rockets from Gaza. “Quiet will be met with quiet,” was Israel’s feeble message to Hamas as the IDF, a highly competent counter-terror force, stood idly by.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 4, 2014
Netanyahu avoids direct engagement with Gaza, despite tensions running high in Jerusalem and the West Bank after Israeli kidnap-murder victims found and the possible revenge killing of a Palestinian in Jerusalem.
DEBKAfile Special Report July 2, 2014
Israel’s security cabinet still looked undecided on July 2 after its third special session in two days to map out a response to the kidnapping-murder of Eyal Yifrach, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel. But debkafile’s sources report a decision was in fact reached: to hold back from a major military operation in the Gaza Strip, while continuing the IDF’s anti-Hamas campaign on the West Bank - a course strongly urged by Egypt, Qatar and Jordan. The result: unbridled violence in Jerusalem after a Palestinian boy was murdered and 30 rockets launched from Gaza.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 27, 2014
The US won’t object to Iran advance to one year from a nuclear bomb capacity. This concession has enraged Israel.
Netanyahu to Obama: IDF on the Jordan is sole security guarantee against ISIS for Israel, Hashemite kingdom and Palestinians
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 21, 2014
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu posted notes Friday, June 20, to President Barack Obama, Jordan’s King Abdullah and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, debkafile reveals exclusively. He dealt with the rapid advances made by Sunni Islamist fighters westward towards the Iraqi-Syrian-Jordanian border. Discussing its bearing on the security of Israel, the Palestinians and Kingdom of Jordan just next door, Netanyahu stressed that the only force in the region able to guard against ISIS was the IDF and its Jordan River deployment.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis June 16, 2014
An approaching IDF military operation against Hamas appeared to be building up this week in the wake of the massive IDF effort to rescue the three Israeli boys Hamas kidnapped outside Hebron on June 10. debkafile: It already has a name: “Our Brothers Come Home.” Egypt has reinforced its borders with Israel and Gaza, offering the chance of President Abdule-Fattah El-Sisi’s backing. Israel’s strategic decisions are influenced by the thousands of Iranian Shiite troops battling Sunni Islamists in Iraq. Tehran's success would consolidate Hamas and Jihad Islami domination of Ramallah.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 15, 2014
Heavy IDF Special Forces units tightened the siege on the Palestinian terrorist organization which snatched Naftali Frenkel, 16, Gil-Ad Sha’ar, 16, and Eyal Yifrach, 19, five days ago. Early Sunday, June 15, a curfew was clamped down on the Hebron district and West Bank exits towards Gaza shut down. Dozens of local Palestinians have been detained on suspicion of complicity in the abduction or withholding relevant information. debkafile: A covert Hamas cell in Hebron is believed to have perpetrated the abduction on orders from ringleaders in Istanbul, Israeli prisons and local operatives.