DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 22, 2009
The British court practice of issuing war crimes warrants against Israeli official visitors has catapulted UK-Israel relations to the brink of a crisis. Tuesday, Dec. 15, prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu said he takes a grave view of the warrant for the arrest of opposition leader Tzipi Livni issued by pro-Palestinian campaigners for her role in the cabinet which conducted Operation Cast Lead in Gaza a year ago.
British ambassador Tom Phillips received a sharp reprimand in Jerusalem.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 2, 2009
Before the court ruling, defense minister Ehud Barak refused advice from the foreign ministry in Jerusalem to leave the UK after a Palestinian group sought an international warrant for his arrest for alleged war crimes in Gaza. He insisted on keeping to his schedule of conferences with British prime minister Gordon Brown and foreign secretary David Miliband Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 29-30.
Israeli jurists are working on steps to confound the sustained campaign by pro-Palestinian groups to to prosecute high-ranking Israeli visitors to the UK and other countries, especially military officers.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 31, 2009
In supportive remarks after his talks with Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu in London, the British premier Gordon Brown commended Israel for dismantling West Bank roadblocks, recommended reciprocal moves by Arab states to support the peace process and said Iran's actions do not make its claims of peaceful atomic development convincing.
Netanyahu voiced disappointment at the Palestinians' failure to match Israel's forward movement toward peace.
Egypt opens Rafah to far-left UK MP Galloway to Gaza, but routes his aid convoy through Nitzana<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 12, 2009
The aid-for-Gaza convoy from London led by far-left British lawmaker George Galloway started out on the wrong foot in mid-February. Sunday, March 8, it was stranded at the northern Sinai town of El-Arish by 1,000 Egyptian police who refused to grant them entry to Gaza. Clashes left 24 members of his pro-Palestinian group injured.
Monday, the Egyptians finally gave the fiercely anti-Israeli British MP and his activists permission to enter Gaza.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 25, 2008
Iranian prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi said the three Iranians had been trained by the Mossad in four countries in "assassinations, explosives, professional motorbike riding and working with special cameras, computers and satellites.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 23, 2008
In the first address to the Knesset by a British prime minister, Gordon Brown said Monday, July 21: We have given Iran a clear choice: Accept our negotiations on its nuclear program or face growing isolation and collective response not of one nation but many nations."
The UK, EU and US will work together to prevent Iran's nuclear weapons program, he said.
The British prime minister said: We condemn anti-Semitism and persecution in all its forms. "It is totally abhorrent for the Iranian president to say Israel must be wiped off the face of the earth.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 21, 2008
The British prime minister Gordon Brown, who arrived in Israel Saturday night, July 19, made the demand after one of the five hostages kidnapped was claimed by an insurgent group to have committed suicide.
The claim was made on a video passed to the Sunday Times. The man identified only as Jason was said to have killed himself on May 25, four days short of the first anniversary of the five men's abduction abduction by a group called Shiite Islamic Resistance in Iraq.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 1, 2008
The UCU meeting in Manchester, northern England, passed a motion to boycott Israeli academic institutions - without admitting it as such.
Members were urged to "reflect on whether it is appropriate to maintain their links with Israeli institutions" in the light of "the humanitarian catastrophe imposed on Gaza by Israel."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 6, 2008
The head of the UK's MI6, Sir John Scarlett will visit Israel later this month for an update by Mossad chief Meir Dagan on Iran's nuclear program and other subjects of common interest. The London Times reports that it is understood Israel has made a breakthrough "on intelligence gathering within Iran."
debkafile reports Israeli transport minister Shaul Mofaz maintained in America last week that Iran may attain full command of the uranium enrichment process before the end of 2008.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 13, 2008
In a landmark judgment, the Britain's High Court said British soldiers sent abroad would "have the same human rights as any other British citizens and must be properly equipped when sent into battle". It came in a test case relating to the death of a Scottish soldier who died of heatstroke in Iraq in 2003.
The decision was a legal defeat for Defense Secretary Des Browne who will appeal. The court also ruled families of those killed in conflict should get legal aid and access to military documents.
Opposition leaders said the ruling should be a wake the government up to equipment shortages.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Reports: British PM plays up Afghan gain to divert attention from debacle in S. Iraq <br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 14, 2007
After four days of heavy fighting, Afghan National army and international forces covered by US and British marines entered the outskirts of the strategic town of Musa Qala in northern Helmand, south of Kabul, Monday, Dec. 10. Wednesday, the Afghan government flag was unfurled at the town center.
Al Arabiya shows tape of one of five Britons seized in Baghdad. His captors say he will be killed unless UK troops withdraw within 10 days <br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 5, 2007
The victim says he has been held 173 days and "no one seems to care." The five men are being held by a Shiite militia called Islamic Shiite Resistance after being snatched in May from the Iraqi finance ministry building.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span>: First joint British-Israel air force exercise due with arrival of British AWACS plane<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 9, 2007
Military sources report that the British Airborne Warning and Control System plane's joint exercise is in line with Israel's increasing cooperation with NATO in line with its Middle East security program. It was the first visit to Israel by an RAF aircraft on a military mission.
British premier Gordon Brown lands in Baghdad, announces 1,000 troops will be home by Christmas, the rest in new year
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 3, 2007
After talks with Brown Tues. Oct. 2, Iraqi PM al Maliki said Iraqi government forces would assume complete control of security in Basra province within two months.
debkafile reports that Brown's announcement was motivated more by domestic British politics than progress in pacifying the province, where five years of British presence leave southern Iraq in the hands of Shiite militias backed by Iran and jockeying for stakes in its oil and port facilities.
Moscow orders 4 British diplomats to leave, states "further cooperation with UK impossible in war on terror" <br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 20, 2007
In a further strain on relations, Russia also restricted visas for British officials in response to "unfriendly gestures by the UK." The Kremlin has thus raised the stakes past tit for tat for London's expulsion of four Russian officials in reprisal for Moscow's refusal to extradite Andrei Lugovoi, the leading suspect in the murder of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko by radiation poisoning on a London street.
Moscow escalates extradition row, warns of retaliation for London's expulsion of four Russiam diplomats <br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 19, 2007
Russian Dep. Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said Tuesday a targeted response would be coming soon for London's expulsion of 4 Russian FSB-linked intelligence officers from the embassy. The UK is retaliating for Moscow's refusal to extradite Andrew Lugovoi, the leading suspect in the murder of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko.
Australian police charge Indian doctor in connection with failed terrorist attacks in the UK last month<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 15, 2007
Mohammed Haneef, who worked at a Queensland state hospital, was the second person charged in the plot after Bilal Abdullah in Britain. The Australian charge only specified "reckless" support for a terrorist organization while Abdullah was accused of conspiring to detonate explosions in Britain. The only woman of the seven arrested medical suspects has been released.
FBI says Mohammed Asha and another suspect in failed car bombings in Britain contacted doctors' clearing house for work in US<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 11, 2007
An FBI spokeswoman said Asha, a Jordanian-Palestinian physician, contacted the Philadelphia-based Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates in the last year but apparently did not take the test.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Reports: Dismay in Washington and Jerusalem over Tony Blair's first steps as Middle East Quartet's envoy<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 4, 2007
Shortly after the former British prime minister stepped into his new job, he assured Russia and the Europeans that he did not mean to adhere to the US-Israeli boycott of Hamas. One of his first tasks would be to establish ties with Hamas representatives in Gaza and Damascus.
debkafile's Washington sources report that the British politician conveyed this intention in a telephone conversation with Russian president Vladimir Putin Tuesday, June 26.
London police refuse comment on US TV report of "crystal clear" CCTV image of driver running from first bomb car. Hunt on for terrorist-drivers as police boost London presence.<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 2, 2007
Two parked Mercedes cars containing explosive devices packed with petrol, gas and nails were disabled in the heart of London Friday. The suspected al Qaeda bomb plot has placed London on high alert.
The second car, illegally parked near Trafalgar Sq., was towed to the Park Lane pound near Hyde Park at around 3 a.m.