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."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 30, 2010
Israel chalks up a victory in its secret war for delaying Iran's attainment of a nuclear bomb. Minister for Strategic affairs Moshe Yaalon noted: Iran is not currently able to make a nuclear bomb on its own - an oblique reference to the Stuxnet virus reportedly developed jointly with the US. He implied the ball was now in Washington's court to keep North Korea from coming to Iran's aid.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 30, 2010
The US, Russia and Israel have come around to an interim accord as the only way out of the impasse in talks with the Palestinians. Obama has canvassed European leaders. If the Palestinians continue to hold out, they will feel a chill wind blowing in from Washington.
DEBKAfile DEBKA Weekly December 28, 2010
The hanging of Ali Akbar Siadati as a Mossad spy in Tehran Tuesday, Dec, 28 offered a glimpse of the brutal war waged between the CIA and Mossad, on the one hand, and Iran's clandestine agencies, on the other. It comes to the public attention only rarely, when exploits like the Stuxnet malworm invasion and violent deaths of top Iranian nuclear scientists indicate Western agencies have the upper hand.
But this murky contest has its ups and downs, as DEBKA-Net-Weekly's exclusive intelligence sources reveal in its latest issue out last Friday.
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DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 27, 2010
Palestinian leaders in Ramallah are sunk in gloom over what they perceive as US President Barak Obama repudiation of his promises to them and greater sympathy for the Netanyahu government's side of the Middle East dispute. They also see a spreading push in Europe, the Arab countries and Moscow for them to bite the bullet and reconcile themselves to partial or interim accords, since no feasible solutions are visible on the core issues of borders, refugees and Jerusalem.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 26, 2010
Even before he takes office as head of the Mossad secret service, Tamir Pardo faces a British ruse to inveigle him into admitting Israel's hand in the murder of Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai a year ago by an apology when he visits London next month. This is reported by the London Telegraph of Saturday, Dec. 25. debkafile's intelligence sources: That sort of pressure will present Pardo with one of his first tests.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis December 25, 2010
A secret meeting in Tel Aviv on Dec. 16 between the high-ranking Russian emissary Mikhail Margelov and representatives of the South Sudanese semi-autonomous government so infuriated Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that he ordered his intelligence minister Gen. Omar Suleiman to hit back by accusing Israel of recruiting Egyptian agents as spies. Cairo fears upheavals following Jan. 9 referenda in oil-rich South Sudan and Abyei will prejudice its control of Nile waters.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 23, 2010
After studying Israel's military exercise near the Syrian-Lebanese border last week, Tehran transferred a team of Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Special Engineers from Syria to Lebanon for recommendations on how its lessons should be applied to Hizballah's war array, debkafile reports. Some 20-30 Iranian officer-engineers are examining Hizballah fortifications sector by sector. The Israeli exercise simulated a drive into Lebanon by IDF infantry and armored forces in the event of a large-scale Hizballah incursion into N. Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 22, 2010
Hard-pressed by Syrian and Turkish rulers, Jordan's King Abdullah II has sharply reduced the kingdom's military and intelligence collaboration with Israel after 60 years. debkafile's intelligence sources disclose Jordan has whittled cooperation down to the narrow border strip cutting down the middle of the Jordan River, retaining it only because it is a barrier against the flooding of the kingdom with hundreds of thousands of West Bank Palestinians. Abdullah next plans a state visit to Iran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 17, 2010
If Jordan finally goes over to the Iranian-led radical bloc, it will open the door to reviving the old Eastern Front against Israel and adding an Iranian military presence around its borders. Obama is concerned but fears any Israeli military action would jeopardize his nuclear dialogue with Iran.
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.