Hizballah's strength is greater today than it was in the Lebanon War last summer - Israeli military intelligence research chief
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 23, 2007
Brig-Gen Yossi Baidatz reporting this to the Knesset foreign affairs and security committee was interrupted by defense minister Amir Peretz who disputed this data as relating to Hizballah's "potential strength."debkafile notes: The official Israeli government line is that Hizballah came out of the war weaker.
Baidatz added Qassam missile attacks from Gaza have increased since the Mecca Reconcilian Accords were signed by Fatah and Hamas leaders two weeks ago.
DEBKAfile reports: Syria has delivered Russian-made SA-18 "Grouse" Igla 9K38 anti-air missiles to Lebanese Hezballah
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 20, 2007
Moscow guaranteed the shoulder-carried SA-18 "Grouse" Igla 9K38 was sold to Damascus under the strict prohibition of its transfer to Hizballah, debkafile notes. The pledge was given to the US and personally by Russian president Vladimir Putin to Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert.
IDF special units uncover two Hizballah bunkers in Israeli territory east of the Biranit outpost<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 29, 2007
The bunkers contained food and digging tools - apparently used by Hizballah before the war of summer 2006. They were blown up in a controlled explosion.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> refutes claims that Lebanon's pro-Syrian bloc has suspended its street offensive to topple the Siniora government<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 24, 2007
On arriving in Paris Wednesday, Jan. 24, prime minister Fouad Siniora said that Lebanon has been paying the price of "imposed decisions coming from outside, like Iran and Syria."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 15, 2006
The disaster that overtook one of the Israeli Navy's state of the art warships, Ahi-Hanit, was thoroughly planned in advance by an enemy which managed to take Israel's military commanders by surprise. It has shocked Israel's military to a degree comparable to the profound effect on US forces of al Qaeda's 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Aden.
debkafile's military sources reveal that the warship was struck from Beirut by an Iran-made C-802 shore-to-sea missile of the Silkworm family. Weighing 715 kilos, with a range of 120km, the missile is armed with a strong anti-jamming capability, which lends it a 98% success rate in escaping interception.
The Israeli ship is armed with an advanced Barak anti-missile system, which may have missed the incoming missile. Israeli military planners must now look at the vulnerability of the navy following the appearance of the first Iranian C-802 missiles.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 5, 2006
debkafile's Gulf sources suspect that the tough talk indicates that a secret dialogue is afoot somewhere in the world and has reached the stage of muscle-flexing, or even a point of decision. These same sources did confirm the existence of bilateral negotiations three months ago in Washington and Geneva, which broke up without agreement. They are less sure about the resumption.
Whether or not these talks have resumed, debkafile's military sources affirm that the United States, Iran, the Gulf emirates and Israel are pushing ahead with preparations for a showdown over Tehran's nuclear plans - as first revealed in DEBKA-Net-Weekly on May 19:
Washington has begun signaling allied governments in the Persian Gulf and Israel that a US military operation against Iran's nuclear sites is in the works for 12 to 18 months hence at the soonest.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 20, 2005
Ernst Uhrlau, Angela Merkel's new head of the BND, Germany's foreign intelligence service, is revealed by debkafile's counter-terror sources as the man behind Berlin's secret decision to trade German archeologist Susanne Osthoff kidnapped in Iraq on Nov. 25 for the jailed Hizballah terrorist wanted in America, Mohammad Ali Hammadi.
Uhrlau attained international prominence as broker in the Hizballah-Israel prisoner swap and the failed effort to track down the missing Israeli navigator Ron Arad.
The swap of a hostage kidnapped by Iraqi guerrillas for a Lebanese Hizballah terrorist exposes for the first time the clandestine operational links between the Hizballah and Iraqi guerrillas and fellow-terrorists.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 22, 2005
This was the first time the Hizballah had sent a specially-trained motorbike commando unit into action. Its mission was to kidnap Israeli soldiers and bring them to Beirut for a macabre display in Lebanon's Independence Day ceremonies Tuesday, Nov. 22. This was to be an act of defiance against Israel and more particularly the anti-Syrian government. The Lebanese prime minister would not dare send troops against him to free the Israelis - even though their abduction was a brazen contravention of international law. He and his government would then be dismissed by the Lebanese people and the Arab world as nonentities.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 31, 2004
Hamas-Hebron claimed responsibility for the double suicide attack Tuesday, August 31, on two crowded Beersheba buses, which left 15 Israelis dead and up to 100 injured. The twin blasts hit passengers, passing vehicles and pedestrians on the busy main street of this southern Israeli town, the first such attack inside Israel in six months. The suicide bombers may not have come from Hebron; they could equally have reached Beersheba from the Gaza Strip or infiltrated the Israeli Negev from Egyptian Sinai. the Gaza Strip to undergo, almost unnoticed, a geopolitical transformation that threatens not only to fill the space left by Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon's fading plan to evacuate the Gaza Strip, but also to make the Palestinian terror war against Israel far more dangerous. The fallout is beginning to ripple out into further reaches of the Middle East.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 26, 2004
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The super-confident Lebanese Shiite terrorist group Hizballah was twice jolted out of its complacency this month and forced to accept that its innermost core had been penetrated and its eight-year old links with Palestinian terrorists laid bare. Word reaching Israel's intelligence sources is that Hizballah's Iranian masters and Syrian backers are now looking forward to the next stage of their terrorist assault on the Jewish state, the use of non-conventional weapons. The first knock occurred on July 19, when Ghaleb Awali, head of the Hizballah's Special Group was murdered outside his Beirut home.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 20, 2004
Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah has produced a new master plan which he presented this week to the Hamas leadership group appointed to succeed Abdel Aziz Rantisi, the second Hamas leader Israel killed in less than a month. Their identities are a closely-kept secret on the orders of supreme Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Damascus. debkafile's counter-terror sources have the names of the five new leaders: two well-known figures, Ismail Haniya and Mahmoud Al-Zahar, Said Siyam who recently succeeded al-Zahar as spokesman, Nazar Rayan and Yunes al-Assal. According to debkafile's intelligence and counter-terror sources, Nasrallah's basic premise is this: Israeli leaders must not be allowed to dictate the timetable of their pullout. It must be forced on them before they are ready and so award the Palestinians a victory. He reminded his Hamas allies of the Israeli troop withdrawal from south Lebanon in May 2000 which, instead of being an orderly retreat under the cover of Lebanese military units, became an uncontrolled rout.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 10, 2004
Syrian president Bashar Assad's advisers tried hitching a ride on the second stage of the Hizballah-Israeli prisoner swap - the one requiring the handover of information on the long missing Israeli navigator Ron Arad. Assad's men went to work on Iranian foreign minister Kamal Kharazi when he came to Beirut last week to make sure the exchange focused on an even older mystery, the disappearance of four Iranian diplomats in Lebanon 22 years ago. Tehran insists they are alive in Israeli captivity and demands a tit for tat, notwithstanding all the evidence that the Christian Phalange security chief Elie Hobeika seized them at a highway checkpoint in northern Lebanon as they were fleeing the 1982 war to Syria, and murdered them.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 27, 2004
The Israeli-Hizballah POW-abductees-DIA deal going into effect Thursday is even more lopsided than first reported, as discovered by debkafile's intelligence sources from unpublished elements of the accord. Tuesday, January 27, the Israeli government published the lists of prisoners to be released two days hence for the bodies of three Israeli soldiers kidnapped three years ago by the Hizballah on the Israeli side of the Lebanese border and businessman Elhanan Tannenbaum. Our sources have discovered that not only Germany, but France, Belgium, Switzerland, Greece and the Netherlands are "contributing" to the victory parade the Hizballah chief is stage-managing in Lebanon to celebrate the successful outcome of the deal. These European countries are preparing to release Iranian, pro-Iranian, pro-Syrian Lebanese, Hizballah and other prisoners under sentence for assorted terror-linked crimes dating from the 1980s, mostly against American and Israeli targets.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 26, 2004
The original date of publication for prisoner swap between the Hizballah and Israel was Friday, January 30, after it had begun - or even the next day, post factum, according to debkafile's Middle East sources. However, Israeli's POW negotiator Brig. (ret) Ilan Biran warned the German mediator, Ernest Uhrlau, that once the deal was in the bag it could not be kept dark that long. In Israel, unlike Lebanon, prime minister Ariel Sharon is required to bring important decisions before his coalition government, a sure recipe for leaks to the media. Uhrlau passed the warning on to the Hizballah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah, who on the spot agreed to bring publication forward by six days to Saturday night, January 24.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 24, 2004
The announcement Saturday, January 24, only marked the end of Part One of the agonizing, frequently-stalled negotiations for the exchange of prisoners, abductees and bodies between Israel and the Lebanese terrorist group Hizballah. The tireless German mediator, Ernest Uhrlau, said he had every reason to hope that the second part would also reach closure in two to three months, bringing to an end a series of murky episodes going back more than twenty years. Promising though this may sound, Part Two is still covered by a dense shadow of intrigue and uncertainty because of four factors revealed here by debkafile's intelligence sources:
First disclosure: The key figure in the breakthrough was the Lebanese Druse leader Walid Jumblatt. He became involved in the sensitive Part Two of the transaction (details of which are blacked out by an Israeli court gag order) because the most hotly disputed Lebanese prisoner, Samir Kuntar, incarcerated since 1979 for murdering three Israelis in Nahariya, is a Lebanese Druse who will not be released with the first group.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 13, 2002
The terror attack Tuesday, March 12, in which six Israelis were killed and seven injured on the Matsuba-Kabri highway of W. Galilee had all the hallmarks of a military-guerrilla action. debkafile's military and intelligence sources report it was a combined operation by al Qaeda militants, newly based in Lebanon, and Iran-backed Hizballah Islamic extremists belonging to a faction associated with the master terrorist Imad Mughniyeh.