DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 15, 2010
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's first visit to Israel in mid-January, part of a Middle East tour, will signify a major switch in Kremlin Middle East policy to warmer relations with Israel and cooler ties with Iran, Syria and the radical Palestinian Hamas. The Russians see a chance of stepping into US shoes in Middle East diplomacy, having come around to certain Israeli positions. They are also seriously eyeing investment in Israel's Mediterranean gas finds.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 13, 2010
The Palestinians believe they can use international misfortunes to fast-forward their national goals. They watch US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu grappling with political woes and the European Union in a life-and-death struggle to save the euro and at least five economies from falling off a cliff edge. Seeing a big chance for gain, Palestinian lead negotiator Saeb Erekat has produced the astonishing new figure of 7 million refugees whom Israel must accept.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis December 11, 2010
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had the thankless task of writing finis on the Obama administration's two-year effort to persuade Israelis and Palestinians to talk peace. It was time "to grapple with the core issues of this conflict" - borders, refugees, settlements, water and Jerusalem – she said, without mentioning timetables. debkafile reports the administration has now turned to a new plan for employing Turkey - first to broker a deal with Iran, then an Israeli-Syrian accord.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 8, 2010
State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss's devastating report on Israel's fire-fighting services Wednesday, Dec. 8, confirmed that this vital service was close to collapse and in no fit state to tackle the effects of a missile attack on the population. The Comptroller spread the blame across the government and its ministers, especially the defense minister who has overall authority over homeland security. debkafile's military sources disclose that the IDF's Home Front Command is in no better shape.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 8, 2010
Russia's Vladimir Putin has reached out to the beleaguered Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to get in on the ground floor of the as-yet untapped Lebanese offshore energy fields, debkafile reports. He has also tested the ground for dipping into the Israeli gas bonanza, while offering Turkey substantial benefits in Moscow's Lebanese scheme. If Putin's multi-faceted plan works, Russia and Turkey will have a stake in Hariri staying in power and a stable Lebanon.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 7, 2010
Israeli and Turkish representatives have just held two meetings for the purported objective of patching up Turkey's quarrel with Israel. All that has come out of Ankara so far, however, is a fresh torrent of anti-Israel abuse from Turkish leaders and harsher terms for settling the feud over the Israeli commando raid of May 31 which killed 9 Turkish activists leading a flotilla to break the Gaza blockade, debkafile's Middle East sources report.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 4, 2010
The onslaught waged by aerial firefighters from half a dozen countries Saturday, Dec. 4, has begun to contain the calamitous Mt. Carmel wildfire raging since Thursday - although the situation remains volatile, depending on the wind during the night. The evacuees allowed to return home did not include Ein Hod or Nir Etzion, while Isfiya is still threatened. Volunteer defense teams caught six individuals trying to start fires in different parts of Galilee Saturday night.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 4, 2010
Arson attacks spread Saturday, Dec. 4 from the North to Jerusalem, where fires started near Tsur Hadassah and the Jerusalem Forest. Day Three of the Carmel fire began with a fleet of foreign planes, including two giant Russian Il-76s taking off at first light to dump water and fresh supplies of retardants on the flames and smoke again engulfing Beit Oren, Ein Hod, Nir Etzion and Isfiya, fanned by scorching winds.
Arson alert declared in the North against proliferating attacks.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 3, 2010
A suspected arson attack on the West Galilee village of Tal El east of Acre Friday night, Dec. 2, strengthened the suspicion gaining ground among police and military circles on Day Two of the fiercely rampant Carmel blaze, that Israel may be facing a wave of deliberately-set fires. Officers talking to debkafile's sources did not identity the hand behind these attacks, commenting only that Israel appears to be confronted with a new kind of warfare outside its experience.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 1, 2010
Riyadh has signaled its intention for the secret Saudi-Israeli meetings on Iran taking place for more than a year to continue after the changing of the guard at the Mossad, debkafile's intelligence sources reveal. This message Tamir Pardo found on his desk when he took over from Meir Dagan this week as head of Israel's external spy agency. It means that, regardless of WikiLeaks disclosures, the Saudis stand by their conviction that Iran's nuclear program must be destroyed.
DEBKAfile Special Report November 22, 2010
Israeli Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin warned the Israel cabinet Sunday, Nov. 21: "Tel Aviv will be a front line in the next conflict." debkafile's military sources report he was referring to the thousands of missiles with enhanced ranges of 300 kilometers Syria and Hizballah have received from Iran and which Iranian engineers are outfitting with guidance systems to challenge Israel's aerial capabilities and missile defenses. Syria's chemical warheads are now fully guided.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 12, 2010
The Israeli prime minister is keeping under his hat a series of secret negotiations in Amman, Jordan, at which dramatic progress has been made in five key areas of contention with the Palestinians. The key to one problem would be the deployment of Jordanian troops on the Jordan River's west bank.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 5, 2010
Dovish politicians, a media baron and opposition leaders have combined to unseat the Netanyahu government starting with defense minister Ehud Barak and slotting Kadima's Tzipi Livni in their place.
DEBKAfile Special Report November 3, 2010
The sharp differences between Israel and Britain came to the fore Wednesday, Nov. 3, during William Hague's first visit to Israel as Foreign Secretary. He was informed that Israel had halted the strategic dialogue with the UK in protest against the failure of successive British governments to repeal a law allowing its leaders to be arrested for war crimes on arrival in Britain. The visitor struck back by meeting and praising three groups leading the Palestinian anti-Israel protest movement.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 18, 2010
While raising Cain about Israeli settlement construction, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is seriously weighing a secret plan for bringing a fresh influx of Hamas fighting and intelligence forces into the West Bank at points opposite Israel in a bid to patch up their feud, debkafile's sources report. Israel warns that this plan would bring IDF troops back into the West Bank towns turned over to the Palestinians and restore the dozens of dismantled roadblocks.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis October 14, 2010
The Netanyahu government chose silence in the face of the imperialist Shiite energy Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad exuded in his all-conquering visit to Lebanon. On his first day in Beirut he showed the world that Tehran calls the shots in Beirut - and that would be just for starters. debkafile's sources find in Israel's inaction today a regrettable analogy with the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's handover of Czechoslovak Sudetenland to Germany in 1938 so ushering in World War II.
DEBKAfile Special Report October 13, 2010
debkafile's sources report: Towards the end of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad first day in Lebanon Wednesday Oct. 13, a high alert was declared in the Israeli, Syrian, Lebanese armies, the Hizballah militia and the UN peacekeeping force ahead of his tour of the Lebanese-Israeli border Thursday. The Iranian president and Nasrallah both called for Israel to "disappear". But first he announced the formation of a new anti-Israel Eastern Front encompassing Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinians and Iraq.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 6, 2010
By releasing the 1973 Yom Kippur War papers now, Jerusalem signaled Bashar Assad that his capital could be in peril if Syria and Hizballah go through with their plot against the Hariri government in Beirut. The papers reveal that 37 years ago, Israel's late Prime Minister Golda Meir denied defense minister Moshe Dayan and IDF chief David Elazar permission to bomb Damascus before and after Syrian and Egyptian forces advanced towards Israel at the war's outset.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 26, 2010
US and Israel skirted around admitting that direct Israel-Palestinian dialogue had foundered after 26 days Sunday, Sept. 26, as Israel's settlement construction freeze expired. American spokesmen commented that with the resumption of building, a one-year clock was ticking for a peace accord. The talks have resulted for now in Hamas preparing to go to the next, expanded phase of its terror campaign, Egypt and Syria patching up their quarrel and the two terrorist organizations, Hamas and Hizballah, crowing.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 16, 2010
The pact confronts the Russian military with the first test of its ability to handle advanced Western technology. The Kremlin will have to show whether it is willing to cooperate in this field with the United States, which overseas the pact.