DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 16, 2011
Twenty-four hours after Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the Egyptian upheaval had no military connotations for Israel, the Iranian frigate Alvand and cruiser Kharg transited the Suez Canal on their way to Syria. Wednesday night, Feb. 16, their passage was termed "a provocation" by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. In Beirut, Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah said he was looking forward to Israel going to war on Lebanon because then his men would capture Galilee.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 14, 2011
The message Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint US Chiefs of Staff, brought Israel Sunday, Feb. 13, was that the 1979 peace accord with Egypt is not in jeopardy. He tried giving this assurance to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Gen. Benny Gantz - who became Israel's 20th chief of staff Monday. Both sides ignored Egyptian opposition leader Ayman Nour's comment: Camp David is finished. Gen. Gantz has the job of overhauling the IDF for five fronts.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis February 12, 2011
Friday night, Feb. 11, as Egypt celebrated Hosni Mubarak exit, Israel counted the cost of losing its most important strategic partner in the region. Thirty-two years of peace leave Israel militarily unprepared for the unknown on their 270-kilometer long southern border; no experience of desert combat; an army trained and equipped only for the hostile fronts of Iran, Lebanon's Hizballah and Syria; a dearth of intelligence about the Egyptian army and its commanders, and no clue to the new rulers' intentions.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 11, 2011
Israel's new chief of staff Maj. Gen. Benny Gantz is saddled with might task of rebuilding Israel's armed forces from scratch to fit the potential menace posed by the upheaval in Egypt. Ashkenazi worked closely with Washington to attune combined US-Israel military resources to possible combat with Iran.
DEBKAfile Special Expose February 8, 2011
Hamas while preparing follow-up attacks on the Sinai gas pipeline after Saturday's explosion has opened the Egyptian-Israeli border region to Al Qaeda jihadists, international smugglers and criminal gangs - all heading for the Israel border. Egypt lacks the manpower for securing the entire Sinai Peninsula. Its troops are concentrating on securing Sharm el Sheikh and the eastern bank of the Suez Canal. Hamas is left to prey on North Sinai and make it a launching pad for terror attacks on Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis February 5, 2011
Egypt's suspension of gas supplies to Israel after the North Sinai pipeline was blown up Saturday, Feb 5 has suddenly cut Israel off from 25-30 percent of its gas needs and 80 percent of Jordan's. After the blast, Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmad Shafiq announced that gas supplied to both countries under contract would henceforth be diverted to domestic requirements. Israel is also deeply concerned by spreading Hamas occupation of North Sinai and on high alert for more sabotage of its power installations.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 4, 2011
From mid-week Israel has been feeding Vice President Omar Suleiman intelligence at his request and with Washington's approval. It includes aerial intelligence from the main hubs of unrest and naval patrols to secure Suez Canal passage. Israel has beefed up its border units on the Egyptian border and surveillance of Hamas movements out of Gaza.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis February 2, 2011
Skillful choreography, not just spontaneous popular dissent, brought Hosni Mubarak's 30 years as president to an end Tuesday night, Feb. 2. In fact, the hands of the United States, Britain and Egyptian army heads were plain to see at every stage.The axing of Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant as Israel's next chief of staff – on the same day - was contrived too. Maj. Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi has been building momentum to challenge Binyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak as a future political leader.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis February 1, 2011
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday, Jan 31 he feared Egypt could end up with a radical Islamic regime as in Iran that would go against the region's interests for peace and stability.He also made the gesture of allowing the first Egyptian military troops to enter Sinai since the military since the 1979 peace treaty.
Netanyahu's first reactions to events in Egypt did not represent a far-sighted assessment of the fast-moving Egyptian epic but resistance to change.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis January 29, 2011
Egypt, one of the only two Arab states to sign peace with Israel, is wobbling dangerously on the brink of revolutionary change. This week, Israel was dismayed to find itself looking suddenly at three latently hostile fronts about to spring up around its borders: After Lebanon was dropped into the Iranian orbit, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood gained altitude, and Hamas, its Palestinian offshoot in Gaza, is making hay, puffing itself up as an important new Middle East player.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 24, 2011
The first take of the "Palestine Papers run Sunday night, Jan. 23, appearing on the Qatar-owned Arabic Al-Jazeera TV network is a transparent attempt to discredit Palestinian Authority leaders, especially Mahmoud Abbas and Saab Erekat, as ready to sell their people out by exaggerated concessions to Israel - especially on Jerusalem and Temple Mount. Both dismiss the "papers" as a pack of half-truths and distortions.
debkafile reveals they were sold to the TV network by a disgruntled Palestinian staffer fired from the PA's NFU-Negotiating Support Team.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 23, 2011
Less than 24 hours after the breakdown of its nuclear dialogue with the six world powers in Istanbul, Iran announced plans Sunday, Jan. 23, to send a fleet of warships, including a home-made destroyer, on operational and intelligence-gathering missions to the Red Sea and on to the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal. debkafile's military sources: Parts of the fleet will in fact be deployed in the three waters around Israel's southern and western shores.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 17, 2011
Defense Minister Ehud Barak has resigned from Labor and formed a new party called Atzmaut (Independence.) Four of the 13 party members have so far followed him. Barak stays on as defense minister in the coalition headed by Binyamin Netanyahu. debkafile reports the two were in sync every step of the way. Three Labor ministers, Yaacov Herzog, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and Avishai Braverman quit the government. Barak introduced the new party Monday, Jan. 17, as "centrist, Zionist and democratic."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 14, 2011
Despite the ill-fated American involvement in Lebanon of former years, the Obama administration believes he can beat Tehran at its own game by backing the pro-Western coalition headed by Saad Hariri and bringing his father's assassins, Hizballah, to justice. Tehran is banking on Hizballah's prowess as the strongest military force in Lebanon.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 14, 2011
Experts of Khatam al-Anbiya, the engineering arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards-IRGC, are supervising the rapid construction of a system of fortifications that crisscrosses the entire 360- square kilometer-area of the Gaza Strip - wholly underground. The Gaza system is more advanced than the one Iran built for Hizballah. Tehran has also smuggled into Gaza Yemeni fighters of AQAP.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 11, 2011
Tuesday, Jan. 11, Iran's intelligence minister Heidar Moslehi called his second news conference in two days to pour more abuse on Israel and its spy agency and accuse them of trying to retard "scientific progress in Muslim nations." He displayed weapons allegedly used by "more than 10" suspected Mossad agents against Iran's nuclear scientists and threatened neighbors harboring "Zionist facilities" with "heavy blows."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 10, 2011
Monday night, Jan. 10, Tehran launched against Israel a full-scale intelligence onslaught on three fronts: It claimed to have rolled up a Mossad network implicated in the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist last January; accused Israel of kidnapping a former deputy defence minster; put a young man posing as a Mossad agent on television and invented a new blood libel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 10, 2011
The Israeli air strikes in Gaza early Monday, Jan. 10, officially described as aimed at "terrorist targets" and "smuggling tunnels", were in fact missions for destroying the new Hamas underground command centers which Iranian Revolutionary Guards engineers are building across the enclave, debkafile's exclusive sources report. Israel is about to change its Gaza strategy and move away from predictable operations that serve Iran's goals, one of which is punishment for the attacks on its nuclear facilities and personnel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 5, 2011
The UN has turned down Lebanon's demand to intervene in delineating its sea border following Israel's Leviathan gas strike in the Mediterranean, billed as the world's biggest in a decade. Cyprus responded by announcing the Texas-based US firm Noble Energy - partners with Israel's Delek Energy group in Leviathan – had been licensed to explore a 1,250 square-mile island block bordering on Israeli waters.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis January 3, 2011
The cabinet in Jerusalem quietly took leave Sunday, Jan. 2, of Meir Dagan, marking the end of his eight remarkable years as head of the Mossad, Israel's external intelligence, espionage and covert warfare service. His retirement - after several extensions - won a backhanded dig from Tehran amid glowing commendations elsewhere. One minister noted last week: "Iran does not currently have the ability to make a nuclear bomb on its own. We are talking in terms of three years."