IDF pulls units from locations bordering Gaza, ignoring rising Egyptian military and al Qaeda activity
DEBKAfile Special Report January 4, 2015
Israel’s military refers to Hamas in terms of an independent entity confined to the Gaza Strip, when as recently as December, Hamas’ jumped aboard the Iran-led Iraqi-Syrian-Hizballah alliance. It is now subject to Tehran’s decisions, which may also touch on the moves dictated by President Obama. Israel’s policy, furthermore, of relying on the Egyptian army to grapple with Al Qaeda’s Sinai network also comes at a price. For Egypt has moved into Sinai with Israel’s quiet consent one and a half divisions, fighter squadrons and tank battalions. That’s just for starters.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 27, 2014
Hamas’ political leader Khaled Meshaal, having found sanctuary from Damascus in Doha, is again being hounded from pillar to post. debkafile: A deal struck this week between Egypt and Qatar could force the Hamas leader to settle in the Iranian capital. This would afford Tehran a foothold in the Gaza Strip, its second Mediterranean outpost on the Israeli border after Lebanon. The Egyptian-Qatari memo of understanding, signed in Cairo Wednesday, Dec. 24, pulls emirate support from Brotherhood and Hamas operations against Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 21, 2014
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and top Qatari envoys went through the motions of formalizing the Saudi-brokered reconciliation between them, when they met in Cairo Saturday, Dec. 20. Riyadh celebrated the meeting as the turning of a new page, and the Qatari envoy acknowledged Egypt’s preeminence in the Arab and Muslim worlds. debkafile: But the bone of contention over the emirate’s hosting of the Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, who was packing his bags to travel to Tehran, remained unresolved. The Saudis demanded his removal from emirate soil.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 4, 2014
Tehran can afford to play hard ball in nuclear talks with the West after determining from a study of the Gaza war that neither Israel nor the West seek a military showdown.
Egyptian troops hunt Hamas, Islamic Jihad rocket gangs loose in Sinai. Palestinians stall on truce talks
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 1, 2014
The Egyptian military are scouring northern and central Sinai for Hamas and Islamic Jihad rocket squads and the launching sites they have buried beneath the desert surface, according to debkafile’s exclusive sources. They turn out to have established an elaborate rocket-launching network in Sinai in the week before the Aug. 26 ceasefire in Gaza - both as a second front against Israel, and as a lever, in case the Cairo negotiations later this month failed to meet their terms for a deal. But those talks are stalled anyway by furious Palestinian inter-faction feuding.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 28, 2014
The battle for Quneitra has no real military importance for the Syrian conflict at large, says debkafile. The Syrian army, helped by Iran and Hizballah, is winning and the rebel side crumbling. However, integrated in the rebel contingents fighting for Quneitra, with US, Israeli and Jordanian backing, are Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front fighters and its Sinai arm, Ansar Beit Al-Madis, which works hand in glove with Israel’s foe, the Palestinian Hamas. When a black Al Qaeda flag flies over Quneitra 200 m from its Golan border, Israel will face a new dilemma.
Israel-Hamas truce deal in effect from Tuesday 7 p.m. Heavy Palestinian barrage last minute kills 2 Israelis
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 26, 2014
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi were able to bring Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip to accept an unlimited ceasefire in hostilities in effect from 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26, based on the 2012 deal. Netanyahu did not ask for his ministers’ endorsement, knowing he did not have majority support in the cabinet. Hamas violated all eleven agreed truces during during the 50-day Gaza conflict. Up to the last minute, Hamas kept up heavy rocket and mortar fire, causing two Israeli deaths and seven injured in the Eshkol District.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 23, 2014
Both sides were preparing Saturday night, Aug. 23, for an impending battle on Gaza Strip soil, debkafile reports. Heavy IDF ground forces were poised ready to enter the territory – initially to demolish Hamas’s short-range rocket and mortar launchers, which have disrupted the lives of neighboring Israeli communities and forced their mass evacuation. The Palestinian extremists escalated their blitz in the last 48 hours as a provocation, daring the IDF to send in the forces massed around its borders, while preparing terrorists brigades in tunnels and suicide fighters for ambushes.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 22, 2014
Hamas executed 18 Palestinians as Israel informers Friday, Aug. 22 – shooting eleven at a police station in Gaza City and seven publicly outside the city’s central mosque. This method was seemingly counseled by Iranian and Hizballah advisers to deter Israel from further targeted liquidations of Hamas’ military chiefs. The gruesome images from Gaza ought to have dispelled Egyptian and Israeli illusions that Hamas, any more than the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, seeks a political solution of the Gaza conflict. What these Palestinian extremists want is a bloodbath.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 21, 2014
Israel has entered a new stage in its war on Hamas, called by Binyamin Netanyahu “hammering to halt attrition.” It started with the assassination attempt on Hamas military chief Mohammed Deif, with unclear results, and was followed by the liquidation of Hamas’ three top southern Gaza commanders. The assassination campaign has the potential to expand and prolong the Gaza conflict, with a diplomatic resolution fading. Netanyahu faces a mutiny by a group of ministers who object to the way he and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon are managing the war.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 19, 2014
debkafile’s intelligence sources disclose that the Egyptian-brokered draft deal Israeli and Hamas delegates inked in Cairo Monday night, Aug. 18, said to contain, in return for a Hamas commitment to withhold rocket fire on the Israeli population, a number of major Israeli waivers. The draft is subject to endorsement by the Israeli security cabinet, which does not convene until Tuesday. They may entail lifting the siege on the Gaza Strip by permission to establish deep sea and air ports - before Hamas is made to disarm, and also talks on releasing prisoners.
DEBKAfile DEBKAfile Special Guide August 15, 2014
After a month of fighting in Gaza and the onset of another surreal ceasefire, debkafile’s sources clue in those readers who are understandably a bit baffled about the war and where Israel stands: Although a five-day ceasefire was announced in Cairo Wednesday night, neither Israel nor Hamas had by Friday, Aug. 15, officially acknowledged a truce is in place. Obama and Netanyahu continue to lock horns as Jerusalem runs the war without Washington’s input. As for the conflict's end, every effort at diplomacy with the Hamas terrorists has so far fallen flat.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 14, 2014
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Saudi Arabia are pushing Netanyahu to go for the full-scale ground incursion against Hamas in Gaza that he doesn’t want, while the Israeli prime minister continues to keep the US out of his decisions.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 14, 2014
A Mossad overhaul has left Israel’s intelligence focused on tactical intelligence, leaving current leaders without the strategic point of view they need to conquer Hamas in Gaza.
PLO reports new Gaza truce, Hamas denies and shoots rockets. Israel is silent, retaliates with air strikes
DEBKAfile Special Report August 14, 2014
The confusion reigning Thursday morning, Aug. 14, was stirred up by contradictory words and actions around the latest truce mirage in the Gaza war. Hamas rocket fire started two hours before the last 72-hour ceasefire was scheduled to end Wednesday midnight, and continued up until 2 a.m. Thursday – namely before and after PLO-Ramallah envoys in Cairo and Egyptian officials announced a new five-day ceasefire, which Hamas-Gaza denied. No Israeli official was available to confirm or deny. The Israeli air force hit back for Hamas rockets. Indirect talks will “apparently” resume in Cairo Sunday.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 12, 2014
The seventh truce in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict is generally expected to end Wednesday night Aug. 13, with fresh hostilities triggered by Hamas rockets. The Cairo talks never got off the ground because the gaps between Israel and the Palestinians were unbridgeable, and the Palestinian team was moreover divided against itself. This time, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon are preparing broad action in response to Palestinian rocket fire. They know that the public and the army too have run out of patience with half-measures.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 10, 2014
In response to Egyptian mediation, Israel is ready to shrink the security zone inside the Gaza Strip by 200 meters, provided the Palestinian Hamas observes a further 72-hour ceasefire going into effect at midnight Sunday, Aug. 10, debkafile reports. And if the truce holds overnight, Israeli negotiators will return to Cairo Monday morning to resume the talks interrupted by Hamas rocket fire Friday. debkafile further reports that Israel may also allow Gaza Strip to have a seaport at some time in the future, in return for the territory’s demilitarization.
Islamist fundamentalists gain tactical advantage over the US and Israel in Gaza and Irbil, 1,372 km apart
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 9, 2014
While different in many ways, the campaigns waged by the US in northern Iraq against Al Qaeda’s IS, and by Israel in Gaza against Hamas, share common features. President Obama won’t put US special forces back in Iraq and, for very different reasons, Israeli leaders abstained from sending special forces deep inside the Gaza Strip to eliminate the Hamas high command and its main rocket stocks. Both have fallen into the same error of relying on air strikes to eliminate Islamist fundamentalists on the march. And so neither conflict will end soon.
DEBKAfile Special Report August 8, 2014
Hours before the 72-hour Gaza ceasefire was due to expire Friday morning, Aug. 8, the Palestinian Hamas’ military wing slapped down an ultimatum before Israel: Either allow the Gaza Strip to have an open seaport – which would be tantamount to lifting the Gaza blockade - or prepare for a long and brutal war of attrition with thousands of fatalities. Abu Obeida, spokesman of Hamas’ military wing, Ezz e-Din Al-Qassam, announced that their new rockets with large warheads would strike Ben Gurion airport and cut Israel off from its air transport links.
IDF quietly carves out 1-3km security strip while pulling troops out of Gaza. A humanitarian truce declared
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 4, 2014
While withdrawing the bulk of its ground troops from the Gaza Strip, the IDF has been quietly carving out an off-limits cordon sanitaire just inside the Gaza border. It is designed to be controlled from the outside by special forces and armored units on round-the-clock alert to bar hostile infiltrations and equipped with a battery of firing posts, sensors and drones. The strip runs 65km from Beit Hanoun in the north to Khan Younis in the south (see map). Israel has turned to acting unilaterally in respect of its own security needs rarther Hamas' price for a truce.