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.
The missing Israeli sergeant’s uncertain fate. His family denies his death. Hamas claims his capture
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis July 22, 2014
The IDF finally Tuesday, July 22, listed Golani soldier Sgt. Oron Shaul, aged 20, from Poriya Elite, missing after an initial attempt to declare him presumed dead, mainly to head off Hamas extortions. This did not work. It was not accepted by the family without proof, and Hamas was quick to claim the missing soldier was in their hands, without offering evidence of his capture or specifying whether he was alive, dead or wounded. This was just one of IDF bids to mold facts for public consumption that went amiss.
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.
Thirteen IDF Golani soldiers killed in Gaza, at start of urban stage of Israel’s operation against Hamas
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis July 20, 2014
The IDF Golani Brigades lost 13 soldiers early Sunday, July 20, in the Gaza Strip district of Shejayia, it was announced. Their commander, Col. Rosan Aliyan, was seriously injured. The urban stage of the IDF’s Operation Defensive Edge has taken Israel into one of its most perilous wars, launched as Hamas’ rocket barrage against the Israeli population continued without pause. When the troops are done cleansing Shejaia, they must grapple with tough challenges in three more Hamas Gaza City strongholds: Shaati, Al Bureij and Nuseirat, before its terrorist infrastructure is dismantled.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 19, 2014
The outcome of Israel’s Gaza operation may be determined just as much by its unseen battle as by hammering Hamas infrastructure and destroying more than a dozen Hamas terrorist tunnels and infrastructure by Saturday morning, July 19, the 12th day of its fight against Hamas. This battle can’t be fought just with sophisticated high-tech gadgetry. Only “boots on the ground” can provide eyes and ears among the local populace, and the cover for agents trained to operate in an Arab environment to gather the information needed for charting the IDF's moves.
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
Two channels to a ceasefire have produced no results, and an IDF ground incursion into Gaza to destroy Hamas’ underground bunkers is increasingly likely.
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 14, 2014
As Israel’s Operation Defensive Edge ended its first week on July 14, military and intelligence experts were finding it hard to believe that Hamas had fired 1,000 rockets against Israel at random. They now conclude that Hamas was collecting operational data for itself, Iran and Hizballah to use in future conflicts – both about the weak points of Iron Dome and for guidance systems to lend their future rockets and mortars greater accuracy. Those experts advise Israel to send a small undercover special force into Gaza for intelligence missions to tip the scales in its favor.
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.
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 Special Report July 9, 2014
The long-range Hamas rockets that reached Hadera 110km north of Gaza Tuesday, July 8, have been identified as the Syrian-made M-302 Khaibar missiles which Hizballah launched against Haifa in the 2006 Lebanon War. It is based on Iranian technology, deriving from the Chinese WS-1. Hizballah engineers posted in the Gaza Strip helped Hamas improve the M-302 and extend its range and accuracy. But the M-302 still suffers from a lack of precision, which was demonstrated Tuesday night when it landed harmlessly in Hadera and also Jerusalem.
More than half of Israel under Hamas rocket attack - from Beersheba up to Greater Tel Aviv. No casualties. Hamas tries smuggling terrorists in by tunnels and sea
DEBKAfile Special Report July 8, 2014
First Hamas rockets were fired or intercepted Tuesday night, July 8, over Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Rishon Lezion, Givatayim, Raanana, Caesarea and Yavne. No casualties were reported, but a house was hit in N. Jerusalem. Hamas also made several attempts to smuggle terrorists into Israel for attacks: The IDF repelled a Hamas naval commando landing on Ashkelon’s Zikkim beach. Another group of terrorists tried to creep into Israel through a tunnel under the Kerem Shalom crossing. It was discovered when the tunnel blew up under an IDF post.
DEBKAfile Special Report July 3, 2014
Israeli defense officials passed word Thursday, July 3, that troop reinforcements had been sent to the Gaza Strip border amid intensifying Palestinian rocket barrages. debkafile: tanks and self-propelled artillery were certainly included. Another official said the Israeli war fleet opposite Gaza’s Mediterranean coast was also reinforced, and the Home Front Command had raised the national level of alert. The IDF anticipates Hamas wideneing its targets from the south further north. Broadcasting these movements warned Hamas to stop the rocket barrage or else the IDF would act.
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 Special Report July 1, 2014
The funerals of Eyal Yifrach, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel, buried side by side, Tuesday, July 1, were a national event, drawing many tens of thousands of sorrowing sympathizers from every segment of the population. Their anguish over the senseless murders of the three boys, shortly after they were kidnapped on June 10 on their way home, was mixed with anger and demands for real retribution. The massed mourners will be expecting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who joined them, to make good on his vow to make Hamas pay.
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 Special Report June 18, 2014
The entire Israeli operation is designed to show Hamas in strong language that the old game is over. Kidnapping Israelis will never again yield the release of Palestinian terrorists, only intensify Israel’s determination to crush Hamas’ political, terror, military and financial infrastructures. This piecemeal destruction in Judea and Samaria will, if it fails to produce results, be repeated on Hamas’ home ground in Gaza. But the operation has so far failed in its first object of rescuing the three Israeli teenagers and catching their abductors - and Hamas is preparing to push back.
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.