DEBKAfile Special Report June 26, 2011
Five years after the Israeli soldier Gilead Shalit was kidnapped by Hamas in a cross-border raid from Gaza, members of his family Saturday, June 25, chained themselves to the fence outside the Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's residence in desperate protest. debkafile: Their protest is misdirected to the wrong address: Even if Israel bowed to every Hamas demand, its leaders backed by Iran and Syria would set a new price as the pretext for holding on to this prime asset.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 25, 2011
As Turkey heads for a military showdown with Syria, Ankara has agreed to restore military and intelligence collaboration in the eastern Mediterranean with Israel, debkafile reports. The deal worked out between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also returns Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to a role in Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy and gives him a chance to try and bring Hamas aboard. Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon finalized the details in secret talks in Ankara.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 24, 2011
Obama and Erdogan had divided up Arab Revolt missions between them, targeting another two Arab rulers, Muammar Qaddafi and Bashar Assad, for eventual eviction – first by diplomacy, then by force - when Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi jumped in with a demand for NATO to halt hostilities in Libya pronto.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 24, 2011
Prime Minister Netanyahu has dropped his long-time ally and partner-in-policymaking Defense Minister Ehud Barak and turned to hardline Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman as his only adviser. But essentially, Bibi has dispensed with a circle of advisers and taken over the solo lead in all defense affairs and important foreign relations.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 17, 2011
Lebanon has a new government headed by Najib Mikati, ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hizballah. Formed suddenly on June 13, the 30-minister lineup has earmarked an unprecedented 18 portfolios – including defense and interior – to Hizballah loyalists and pro-Syrian politicians. While fighting the uprising against his rule, Bashar Assad has recaptured Beirut. The appointment of friendly Fayez Ghosn as defense minister places the army at the service of Damascus and portends trouble on the Lebanese-Israeli border.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 17, 2011
A man has been arrested suspected of cutting the gas pipe and causing the huge explosion and fire which wrecked a four-story residential building on Independence Square in the Israeli seaside town of Netanya after midnight Thursday, June 16. Large teams of paramedics and fire fighters were called in and fought their way into the building amid a strong smell of gas. Four people were killed on the spot and another 96 injured – most with minor injuries.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 16, 2011
Assad's decision to bank on the army to extinguish the revolt against him is paying off. The US and the West could have starved him of funds for his crackdown by an embargo on Syrian oil experts – but refrained from doing so. In any case, the Syrian economy is about to crash
DEBKAfile Special Report June 13, 2011
Jerusalem insisted Monday that no Cairo notification had been received of the arrest of dual US-Israeli citizen Ilan Grapel as an alleged Israeli spy, while Washington is checking to see if any word came through. Western intelligence circles suggest Egypt may have preferred to "find" a Mossad spy even if they suspected him of working undercover for other Western organizations. debkafile: The US and Israel are seeking his quick release before agitation against an alleged fomenter of Muslim-Coptic strife makes this impossible.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 12, 2011
The first Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood delegation ever has been allowed to visit the Gaza Strip and meet Palestinian Hamas leaders. An unparalleled wave of anti-Israeli venom in Cairo coincided with the delegation's arrival Sunday, June 12: a "Mossad officer" was accused of plotting to sabotage the Egyptian revolution and "inciting sectarian violence" against Copts; Israel was charged with contaminating farm products for Egyptian consumption and former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon implicated in ex-President Hosni Mubarak's "corrupt" gas transaction.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 11, 2011
For more than 15 years, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, 38, slithered out of every US and Israeli undercover operation to nab him, often with minutes to spare. This week, his luck turned:The Somali sentries who shot him dead at a roadblock outside Mogadishu had no idea who he was.debkafile:The passing of this highly competent terrorist mastermind leaves al Qaeda's branch in East and the Horn of Africa and Somalia high and dry.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 10, 2011
After the Americans drove Israel security contractors and the Mossad out of Abu Dhabi, the Ofer Brothers thought their business dealings through Palestinian middlemen were safe. US sanctions opened their eyes to this miscalculation.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 8, 2011
Iran struck another blow in its nuclear offensive against the world: Wednesday, atomic chief Fereydoon Abbasi Davani said Iran's 20-percent uranium enrichment would be transferred from Natanz to Fordo near Qom this summer. Improved centrifuges would triple purification capacity. debkafile's military sources report that this move will substantially shorten Iran's road to weapons grade uranium of 90 percent. The Fordo facility, burrowed deep in a mountainside and protected by anti-air missiles, is all but invulnerable to air attack.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 7, 2011
The deployment of Iranian "military submarines" in the Red Sea, announced Tuesday June 7, was Tehran's response to the latest International Atomic Energy Agency's report accusing Iran of nuclear work with "possible military purposes." It was also a pointed comment on the controversy in Israel over whether or not to go for the military option. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad then delivered his most uncompromising statement yet on Iran's nuclear program, calling it "a train with no brakes or reverse gear."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 5, 2011
Syrian President Bashar Assad's security machine is creaking judging by its failure to raise thousands of Palestinian and Syrian volunteers to brave the Israeli troops manning the Golan Sunday, June 5. debkafile's intelligence sources reveal that even the few hundred willing to turn out demanded an exorbitant fee: $1,000 for every demonstrator who cut a piece of razor wire from the Israeli border fence and $10,000 for the families of volunteers shot by Israeli troops before they reached their goal.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 5, 2011
Israel border units went on night alert Sunday, June 5 after a day spent beating back hundreds of Syrian-Palestinians attempting to storm the Golan border. Syrian TV reported a sit-in protest, claiming Israeli fire killed 20 people and injured 150 injured in round after round of assaults. Twice they breached the fortified border fence at Majd al Shams and Kuneitra but refrained from stepping across. Israeli troops arrested three would-be intruders. Sunday night, Israeli troops were attacked from behind by Majd al-Shams residents hurling rocks.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 4, 2011
Two unforeseen events Friday, June 3 rekindled Syrian protests with full force - just as Syrian President Bashar Assad was preparing to celebrate the suppression of the uprising against his regime with active Iranian and Hizballah help: The leaders of the Syrian opposition-in-exile meeting in Antalya under Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's aegis struck a deal with the Muslim Brotherhood which brought 100,000 Brotherhood loyalists back on the streets in Hama and evoked a fresh bloodbath.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 3, 2011
By April 2011, Iran had accumulated a quantity of U-235 that can be enriched in short order to sufficient 90 percent (weapons grade) uranium to fuel four nuclear bombs - and attained "virtual" nuclear weapon state. This was revealed by the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, America's scientific watchdog on world nuclear weapons production, in its June 2 report. By breaking the IAEA seal at the Natanz enrichment plant, Iran gained another 6-7 months for concealing the work there.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 2, 2011
Just four days after the much-heralded opening of the Rafah crossing between the Palestinian Gaza Strip and Sinai, Cairo virtually shut it down Tuesday, May 31, by a series of tight bureaucratic measures in response to a US warning that since the crossing's opening, Palestinian and al Qaeda terrorists had been roaming at large across Sinai exposing the Suez Canal to attack. After the US informed Jerusalem of the new restrictions, an Israeli defense official arrived in Cairo to discuss security coordination.
DEBKAfile Special Report May 31, 2011
Updates reaching debkafile's military sources say that Hamas had stockpiled more than 10,000 by early May – in defiance of Israel's partial blockade of the Gaza Strip. Following April 9, when the Palestinian extremists shot 133 rockets at seven Israeli cities, Egypt's military rulers persuaded Israel to accept a ceasefire in lieu of an operation for smashing this arsenal. By September, when Egypt holds elections that Hamas' parent the Muslim Brotherhood is heavily tipped to win, Hamas will have accumulated 11,000 missiles.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 28, 2011
Egyptian authorities plan to follow up on the permanent opening of the Gaza Strip Rafah crossing Saturday, May 28 - so ending its four-year siege - by liquidating EMG (the East Mediterranean Gas Company) and halting the supply of Egyptian gas to Israel.