DEBKAfile Special Report August 12, 2015
New rules of engagement were handed down Tuesday, July 11, to the Israeli military, police and Border Guard units serving in Judea and Samaria, effectively prohibiting them from shooting Palestinians found hurling firebombs, carrying out knife attacks or other acts of terror. Security forces are restricted henceforth to firing in the air, except when their own lives are in danger. debkafile: The new rules are designed to curb the rising death toll of Palestinian terrorists engaged by Israeli troops. But some senior officers fear they will lead to more Israeli casualties.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis July 7, 2015
Monday, July 6, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkott unveiled Israel’s answer to the rising ISIS threat nearing its gates: the new Commando Brigade. An amalgam of four elite units, it is designed for quiet, bold, covert and effective action against terrorist groups posing a threat in the Sinai Desert to Egyptian sovereignty and Israel’s southern border. Such action would be coordinated closely between Israeli and Egyptian military and intelligence arms. There would be similar operations if necessary from Israel’s northern border – against Hizballah or any threat from Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 6, 2015
The heavy fighting between the Egyptian army and Islamic State in northern Sinai evolved by its sixth day into an asymmetrical contest. debkafile: By Monday, July 6, the Egyptians were depending heavily on Apache helicopter air strikes to fight off the Islamist terrorists, who were using guerilla tactics to send foot soldiers to strike by night and mount ambushes by day. The Apaches strike any moving object. ISIS has lost 241 men since July 1, but can keep going in the long term thanks to a constant influx of manpower and war materiel.
Israeli and Syrian Druze join forces - complicating Israel’s military position vis-à-vis southern Syria
DEBKAfile Special Report June 23, 2015
When Israel spokesmen stated the IDF does not assort by organization injured Syrian rebels reaching the Golan border for treatment, they found that Druze serving in Israel’s armed forces and others living in Golan villages knew better. The two groups were so incensed by such past evasions, that they came together for violent action – hence the attacks Monday, June 22, on two IDF ambulances ferrying injured Syrian rebel fighters to hospital, whom they identified as members of the hated Al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 23, 2015
Monday night, June 22, a Druze mob from the Golan village of Majdal Shams ambushed an Israeli ambulance carrying seriously injured Syrian rebel fighters to hospital, seized the vehicle and beat them up. They attacked Israeli troops who tried to intervene. One Syrian died in hospital; the second is critical. Also Monday night, in South Syria, rebel groups fell out and started killing each other. In this highly heated atmosphere, the Druze issue is being pulled into the roiling heart of the Syrian conflict. The fallout is slipping over into Israel.
ISIS purloined rockets from Hamas production lines to attack Israel. Netanyahu marks out wide sterile zone
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 8, 2015
Islamic State operatives in the Gaza Strip have been helping themselves to Hamas rockets in recent weeks after furtively penetrating the teams operating the group’s production and assembly lines, debkafile reveals The jihadis then passed the stolen rockets to their squads for launching against Israel. These attacks will intensify the deeper the Islamists’ penetration of Hamas plants and their access to ever more advanced, long-range missiles. Israeli, Egyptian and Hamas attempts to stop the rocket attacks hit the wrong address. Israel has marked out a broad sterile zone.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 30, 2015
Fear of ISIS drove the hitherto neutral Syrian Druzes into seeking support from Assad. He turned them over to the Revolutionary Guards and Hizballah who recruited them as Hizballah fighters and terrorists against Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 20, 2015
Local reports of mysterious underground explosions in northern Israeli locations on the Lebanese border are confirmed by Israeli troops on field exercises in the neighborhood. They attest to heavy earthmoving equipment, explosions, burrowing and shaking ground on the Lebanese side of the border, giving the area the appearance of a huge subterranean building site. debkafile: Hizballah has undoubtedly taken a leaf out of the Hamas book of terror and mobilized fully and efficiently for a major tunnel-building project. Israel seems curiously passive in the face of its enemy’s dangerous enterprise.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 10, 2015
Acting on direct orders from Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian special forces raided all nine PA-ruled West Bank towns in the past 48 hours and detained 500 Hamas suspects, debkafile reports. Abbas ordered the operation because he had discovered that Hamas had been hatching a plot for some weeks to stage an armed uprising against the Palestinian Authority, starting in one of the Palestinian towns – possibly even the PA capital of Ramallah – and assassinate him in the process.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 18, 2015
Scores of Iranian and Hizballah fighters and a Syrian general were killed by “friendly fire” from the Syrian army’s 9th Division’s artillery and missiles Wednesday, Feb. 18, debkafile report. The incident, during their push from S. Syria to the Golan is attributed to faulty coordination among the assorted forces in the drive for Quneitra, where Tehran plans to establish a major military outpost and forward command center up against Israel’s Golan deployment. This is the first instance of Syria’s Bashar Assad agreeing to pass a warfront to Iranian command.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 12, 2015
Egypt has joined forces with Israel to fight the spreading Islamist terror which is escalating on three fronts from Libya to Sinai and from Suez to the Delta. Israel is contributing advanced military drones.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis January 28, 2015
Iran’s Lebanese proxy, Hizballah, used five anti-tank rockets and roadside bombs for an ambush which killed at least two IDF servicemen, an officer and a soldier, traveling in unarmored vehicles opposite Kfar Ghajar Wednesday, Jan. 28, debkafile reports. Seven soldiers were injured. The IDF notice did not specify the officer’s rank or the group’s mission in the area. Due to the convoy’s careless security, Hizballah and Iran scored three points in this attack. Israel’s armed forces must now pull out all the stops to recover respect for its deterrent capacity.
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 17, 2014
The Syrian rebel Yarmouk Shuhada Brigades, backed and trained in Jordan for two years by US officers and supported by the Israeli army, has abruptly dumped them and switched to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, debkafile’s exclusive sources reveal. This sudden defection leaves IDF defense formations on the Golan, US and Jordanian deployments in the northern part of the kingdom, and pro-Western rebel conquests in southern Syria in danger of collapse. ISIS gains direct access to a long section of Israel’s Golan border with Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis December 1, 2014
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu preferred Maj. Gen. Yair Golan for the top IDF post to Maj. Gen. Gady Eizenkott, whose appointment was announced Nov. 29. He was dissatisfied with the performance of retiring Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and his deputy Eizenkott in the Gaza campaign, as wanting in assertiveness and the operational and tactical capabilities required for countering Hizballah’s plans to take the coming war forecast for the spring onto Israel’s home ground. Netanyahu hopes Gen. Golan as Deputy C-of-S will make up for those deficiencies.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 9, 2014
The Israeli government has radically changed tack on Syria, reversing a policy and military strategy that were long geared to opposing Syrian President Bashar Assad, debkafile reports exclusively. This reversal was prompted by the increasing preponderance of radical Islamists among the Syrian rebels fighting Assad’s army in the Quneitra area. It calls for a delicate balancing act. While loath to see Assad winning the Syrian war, Israel has no desire to have Al Qaeda’s Syrian branch, Al Nusra, sitting just across the Golan border in control of Quneitra.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 31, 2014
debkafile reports exclusively that the UAV an Israeli Patriot battery shot down Sunday Aug. 31 over Quneitra on the Golan was launched by Hizballah – not Syria as reported. The Iran-made Ababail 2 was on a photography and intelligence-gathering mission over the Golan battleground, where the Syrian army and rebels are fighting over the Quneitra crossing. It is estimated that Hizballah was not planning to join the battle, but rather concerned in case the rebels beat back Syrian troops and broke through from northern Golan to Mt. Hermon and southern Lebanon.
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.
Israeli air strikes reduce Gazan high-rise towers to dust, while Israelis flee in droves from Hamas fire
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 25, 2014
Community leaders of 40,000 dwellers of the dozens of kibbutzim, moshavim and small towns adjoining the Gaza Strip spoke out Monday, Aug 25:" It is no longer possible to hide what is going on. The populated front line facing the Gaza Strip is no more.” Some bluntly blamed this fiasco on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and their management of the operation against Hamas. Attesting to an untenable situation, they juxtapose Gaza buildings reduced to dust by Israeli air strikes against Negev communities made refugees.
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.