1424 articles tagged "Israel"
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Why is Netanyahu's Likud losing ground before Israel's election?<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 8, 2009
Binyamin Netanyahu's apparent choice of the unpopular Ehud Barak to stay on as defense minister is one of his campaign blunders. It tells the voter that he is not offering hope for change.
Read debkafile's prognosis in its Special Analysis below.
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Ehud Barak Holds IDF on Leash against Hamas Missiles, Hizballah Rockets<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 5, 2009
"To all the warmongers among you I say I am not minister of war but minister of defense."
This emotional statement was delivered by Ehud Barak Monday, Nov. 24, to his many critics at a briefing session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee. He went on to lambast Iran for its energetic pursuit of its nuclear program while deceiving the world. Israel does not rule out any option against a nuclear-armed Iran, he said, "but the less said about this better."
debkafile's military sources suggest that Barak take his own advice. While never short of words and promises, his performance in deeds is seriously wanting.
There are three fundamental problems with the defense minister's position and they explain why he is sinking fast in all the opinion polls:

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Without a Shadow Cabinet and Clear Policies, Likud leader May Lose February election
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 24, 2009
The Israeli voter will want to know the name of the defense, finance and foreign ministers in Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu's shadow cabinet well before general election date of Feb. 10, 2009. He - and she - are desperate for a fresh, credible team capable of addressing its deep concerns about a nuclear-armed Iran, a missile-battered southwest and an impending economic recession. Netanyahu will have to take this into account. He will have to roll up his sleeves as soon as soon as the list of candidates is chosen by the 99,000 registered Likud voters on Dec. 8 and set about building an alternative transition team.
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Gas well struck opposite Haifa coast Israel's biggest energy find<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 20, 2009
Tests confirmed that the 5,500 meters deep Tamar-1 reservoir, off the Mediterranean coast of Haifa, contains at least 88 billion cu.m of gas, three times the amount discovered off the coast of Ashkelon. Davidson said the strata were of a promising thickness and quality in three separate places.
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US forecasts: Iran will have makings of 3 A-bombs by end of 2009
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 5, 2009
The most up-to-date intelligence predictions of US nuclear experts is that by the end of 2009, Iran will have stocked enough weapons-grade fuel to build three nuclear bombs.
So what happened to the pledges made by the world powers over the years to keep nuclear weapons out of the Islamic Republic's hands, including declarations by US and Israeli leaders that their military options remained "on the table?"
Those pledges came from Israeli leaders on both sides of the aisle - prime minister Ehud Olmert, foreign minister Tzipi Livni (who has replaced him as Kadima chairman), defense minister Ehud Barak and opposition Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu.
debkafile's political analysts comment: Their pledges have turned out to be as credible as the subsequence assurances of Olmert and his finance minister Ronnie Bar-On that the global economic crisis had skipped Israel and the public's savings and investments were safe.
This week, Israelis woke up to find one-third of their pension funds wiped out - and a nuclear-armed Iran on their horizon.
It will be left to the Israeli voter to decide how far he and she are ready to be gulled again when they go to the polls in February.
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Next: Israel prepares Gaza ground incursion, Hamas gears for suicide terror
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 2, 2009
debkafile's military sources assess the next stage of Israel's Gaza campaign as being a ground incursion of the Gaza Strip, to follow up the air bombardment of Hamas compounds Saturday, Dec. 27. Hamas estimates that in four minutes, dozens of Israeli bombers and helicopters flattened 30 "high profile" sites. At least 350 Palestinians were killed, 90 percent of them Hamas operatives.
Hamas is not not ready to show a white flag and will make a supreme effort to retaliate from Gaza, Lebanon and West Bank. Israel will therefore proceed to Stage Two of its Gaza operation.
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Israel air strikes continue in S. Gaza after 225 killed in earlier raids of Hamas sites<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 28, 2008
Israeli bombers hit Hamas' film center in southern Gaza Saturday night, Dec. 27, after massive air raids destroyed Hamas compounds across the enclave leaving 225 killed, 330 injured and thousands of shock victims. The operation followed a week in which Hamas fired 200 missiles at Israeli civilian targets.
The Israeli military spokesman said the Gaza operation is "just beginning."
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Gaza clash impending - Israel air strikes versus Palestinian long-range missiles
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 27, 2008
The fifty or so missiles and rockets Hamas sent crashing into Israel Wednesday, Dec. 24, along with dozens of mortar rounds, represent no more than a quarter of its capabilities, debkafile's military sources report. They calculate that the fundamentalist Palestinian group can shoot 200 missiles a day with devastating consequences.
The Israeli cabinet took into account that Hamas would counter effective Israeli air strikes by fielding its long-range missiles against Ashdod and Beersheba.
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First Palestinian anti-air gun fire against Israeli helicopters. Military option still on ice
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 26, 2008
For the first time in 9 years of Palestinian warfare, anti-air gun fire was directed from the ground against Israeli aircraft, debkafile's military sources report. The guns opened up Sunday night, Dec. 21, against Apache helicopters still over Nahal Oz, before they crossed into Gaza air space after more than 20 missiles were fired that day.
Notwithstanding the severe escalation, a senior military source told debkafile that a substantive military raid is not on the IDF's immediate agenda.
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Israeli cabinet greets 70-missile barrage from Gaza with more "restraint"<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 24, 2008
After several hours of debate, the senior ministers decided to let the defense authorities determine the timing and form of Israel's response to the heaviest Palestinian blitz it has ever sustained and to coordinate this response with Egypt.
Hamas owned up to the massive blitz of 70 missile and mortar rounds. Their radius extended north to Ashkelon and east to Netivot, leaving a trail of 57 shock victims -half children - and wrecked homes, vehicles, shops and roads. The Israeli military has made no effort to halt the attacks.
Israel closed the Gaza crossings until they stop, but Egypt broke the blockade by inviting any country wishing to help the Gaza population to direct aid through its territory.
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Hamas calls unilateral 24-hour missile ceasefire from Gaza<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 24, 2008
Israel has not reciprocated. Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha said Monday, Dec. 22, his organization and allied Palestinian armed factions in the Gaza Strip were observing a 24-hour halt in their missile attacks against Israel at Egypt's request to allow essential supplies to enter the enclave.
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Israeli government again backs down as Gaza missile war boils over<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 24, 2008
No military action to stamp out the Palestinian missile blitz against southwestern Israel will be undertaken before "international support" is organized and an attempt to renew the "ceasefire" with Hamas is undertaken. That was the gist of the Israeli cabinet's decision Sunday morning, Dec. 21, after Palestinian terrorists fired eight missiles and mortar shells at Israeli civilian locations, continuing the blitz launched before and after Hamas ended its six-month "truce" Friday.
Israeli helicopters struck three missile teams preparing to fire near the north Gaza town of Beit Hanoun. But the missiles kept coming - 22 by the end of the day.

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Olmert's bid to revive Syrian track runs into blank walls
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 23, 2008
Israeli caretaker prime minister Ehud Olmert has been warned that the trip he booked to Ankara for next Monday will be an exercise in futility. Damascus let it be known Friday. Dec. 19, that acceptance in advance of its "borders document" was the pre-condition for direct peace talks.
This maximalist approach, say debkafile's sources in Washington, Jerusalem and Ankara, aims at notifying US president-elect Barack Obama that Damascus' "borders document" is a take-it-or-leave it proposition.
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IDF's post-truce signal to Hamas: Same old rules unless you go too far<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 23, 2008
debkafile's military sources report: Minutes after Hamas declared the six-month "truce" was over and non-renewable at 6 a.m. Friday, Dec. 19, the Israeli Army spokesman had this to say: "Quiet will be met by quiet but we will not hesitate to respond to missile offensives."
Whereupon, proving the threat was hollow, Hamas fired three missiles, followed by sniper fire which drove farmers from their fields at Kibbutz Nir Oz and damaged vehicles.

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Crowded Sderot shopping center takes direct Qassam hit from Gaza, 12 injured
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 22, 2008
The 15th missile of Wednesday, Dec. 17, from Gaza, which injured 12 people - three from shrapnel, the rest in shock - exploded in the Sderot supermarket parking area, destroying shops and cars and scattering crowds of panicky Hanukah shoppers.
The attack capped two days of a massive Palestinian missile and mortar barrage against several Israeli towns and villages without an Israeli military response.
Only after Sderot did the Air Force go into action. Even then, the Palestinians kept on firing raising the day's number to 21.
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Israelis dissatisfied with leaders, 40% may opt out of national ballot
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 21, 2008
debkafile reports exclusively: The figures from the unpublished polls commissioned privately by leaders of the three main parties showed on average a lower figure for Binyamin Netanyahu's Likud than previously rated in the Feb. 10 general election; Tzipi Livni's Kadima's in decline, and unexpected gains for Barak's Labor's and right-wing Israel Beiteni.
At the same time, 35-40% of the voters sampled were unhappy with all the party leaders on offer as future prime ministers and at this point say they will opt out of balloting.
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Netanyahu Reshapes Likud, Builds Shadow Cabinet
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 20, 2008
Former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, energized by more than two years in opposition, is launching his Likud party into Israel's general election campaign with a new look and a new top echelon.
debkafile's political sources report he is remolding it into a center-right party with a new leadership made up of the middle generation of Likud stalwarts and an infusion of outsiders from non-political occupations, rival parties, and at least two ex-generals.
Yaalon, designated for the key slot of defense minister, is a critical piece in Netanyahu's jigsaw puzzle.
A member of Kibbutz Grofit, the former chief of staff may bring Likud its first substantial contribution from the kibbutz movement. It consists of the Labor and Kadima factions, which seriously question the two-state solution of the Israel-Arab dispute propounded by President Bush and embraced by prime minister Ariel Sharon and his leading disciples, foreign minister Tzipi Livni and Ehud Olmert.
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Has Livni buried the two-state solution for Israel-Palestinian dispute?<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 18, 2008
The aspiring prime minister, foreign minister Tzipi Livni, broke new ground when she voiced her views on the Middle East dispute this week. She challenged US and European diplomacy's conventional wisdom of gearing peace to a two-state solution. Palestinian leader Ahmed Quraia followed her with disclosures of what he claimed to be Israel's last peace offer - and rejected it out of hand.
Read debkafile's Exclusive Analysis below.
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Right of center dominate Likud primary, alongside moderates, religious right
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 13, 2008
Likud voters rewarded its 12 workhorse legislators in the opposition party primary which took place Monday, Dec. 8, by placing party whip Gideon Saar, 42, Gilead Erdan and Reuven Rivlin in the top three slots. Of Binyamin Netanyahu's new arrivals, only Benny Begin and former chief of staff Moshe Yaalon made it to the top ten in fourth and eighth places.
This group of favorites holds that final status talks with Arab leaders, especially the Palestinians, is untimely in the light of the Gaza experience.
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Netanyahu's first post-primary task is to pick a shadow cabinet<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 13, 2008
The Israeli elector is desperate for fresh faces, new energy and clear thinking in the defense, finance and foreign ministries to replace a government dithering for months on every key issue. Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu has been abstruse rather than enlightening. But after the primaries of Monday, Dec. 8, he will have to level with the voter.
Read debkafile Exclusive Analysis below.

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1424 articles tagged "Israel" :












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