1413 articles tagged "Israel"
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Olmert Holds Army Back in Face of Imminent Hizballah, Hamas Threats and Buildup
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 8, 2007
Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert and foreign minister Tzipi Livni staged a revealing scrap of asides behind open microphones and TV cameras Monday, May 8.
She said the army chiefs was complaining the politicians were holding them back from dealing with the Palestinian Qassam missiles flying daily from Gaza. He replied: Tell them to take it easy.
Less than a week after Livni told Olmert to resign over the Winograd panel's deadly criticism of his handling of last year's Lebanon War, the duo were ready to act out a piece of theater and a course of military passivity. Neither seriously wants to hear what the army has to say - and not just the chief of staff, as in last year's conflict, but the different views of commanders, as the panel advised. They are too preoccupied with personal survival maneuvers to attend to urgent security issues.
Military experts, some of them recently retired from combat duty, tirelessly warn in daily media interviews that the war build-up on three Israeli borders, Lebanon, Syria and Gaza, has reached dangerous proportions.
Confirming the generals' worst fears, Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah laid out a plan Sunday, May 6, for attacking IDF positions on Mts. Hermon and Dov from the Shebaa Farms, and Israel Navy vessels with the new long-range missiles just delivered (smuggled) by Syria, while also turning the militia's guns on the UN peacekeepers posted in south Lebanon.

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Israel's FM Tzipi Livni criticizes government decision-making modes, warns against replaying Lebanon War errors in Gaza<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 8, 2007
The day after she and prime minister Ehud Olmert met to bury the hatchet, Livni attacked his government's decision-making processes at a joint press conference in Jerusalem with visiting German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Before a decision is taken on how to cope with the spiraling missile attacks from Gaza, the army should present its plans to the government and alternatives examined.
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Non-Political Israeli Officials Take Charge of Urgent Policy Business with Washington
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 7, 2007
debkafile's US sources reveal that, this week, Israeli military and intelligence circles informed their opposite numbers in Washington that there is no vacuum in the management of vital issues and it is ongoing despite the crisis tying the hands of Israeli government leaders, prime minister Ehud Olmert, defense minister Amir Peretz and foreign minister Tzipi Livni, in the aftermath of a critical war report.
This was the first confirmation by senior Bush administration sources that they are working with non-political Israeli circles on urgent and critical affairs and leaving the Olmert government outside policy-making in Washington.
Those Israeli circles have voiced their deep concern over the Bush administration's inclination to meet Iran halfway on the nuclear question. debkafile's sources reveal that Washington is considering a compromise that will let Iran continue uranium enrichment against guarantees never to produce weapons-grade fuel or develop a nuclear weapon.
Israel military and intelligence experts have warned the administration that Iran is up to its old tricks of handing out promises it has no intention of keeping.
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Some 150,000 Israelis rally in Tel Aviv to tell prime minister to quit over Lebanon War failings<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 6, 2007
The anti-government protesters represented the entire political spectrum plus many non-affiliated. For the first time, left and right joined hands. Politicians were barred from addressing the apolitical gathering.
debkafile: Barring the unforeseen, Olmert has bought a one-to-four month lease of life by taming the revolt in his Kadima party.
Foreign minister Tzipi Livni, the deputy prime minister who led the field of contenders to take over from Ehud Olmert, was roundly castigated for her weak stand against him. In their interview Tuesday, she politely advised him to step down, but said she would stay in government.
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<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span>: The Lebanon War inquiry commission hands down the equivalent of a death warrant against Olmert government for its "grave failures" <br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 4, 2007
Prime minister Ehud Olmert is accused of grave failures of judgment, responsibility and due caution in his decisions to go to war in Lebanon last summer and its management. His decision was hasty and undertaken without in-depth study of the circumstances in the arena, a proper plan of action and clearly defined objectives.
Full partners in these failures are defense minister Amir Peretz and former chief of staff Dan Halutz.
They are far more damning than predicted.

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<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Exclusive: For Ehud Olmert it is over. His party is now fighting to survive him
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 3, 2007
Tuesday night, 30 hours after the scathing condemnation delivered on his management of the Lebanon War by the Winograd inquiry commission, the Israeli prime minister was fighting a rearguard action against the odds. Kadima had quickly grasped that if the party wanted to stay in power and retain its grip on a viable coalition, it would have to bow to the spreading political and popular demand to jettison its unpopular leader and replace him.
As the coalition unraveled, bricks were put in place by Olmert's would-be successors. Read debkafile's Special Report below.

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Hizballah is practicing the transfer of units from north of Litani to S. Lebanon
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 2, 2007
This was reported to the Israeli cabinet Sunday, April 29, by chief of staff Lt. Gen Gaby Ashkenazi. The smuggling of quantities of weapons from Syria and Iran is still going on, the general added. debkafile adds: In both cases, Hizballah is not disturbed by the presence of the expanded UN force in south Lebanon.
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<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Exclusive: Embattled Olmert may buy a further lease of life by meeting party and public demands for his resignation - on his terms<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 2, 2007
Members of the ruling Kadima faction, which plans his ouster Wednesday night over the harsh criticism of his management of the Lebanon War, fear the prime minister may pre-empt their move and get in first: He could do this by submitting his resignation to the acting president, thus bringing the entire government down. The incumbent line-up would then become a transitional government.
Foreign minister Tzipi Livni, who threatens to quit the government if Olmert does not step down, would then be locked into a transitional cabinet. She had planned to interview him at 1600, two hours before the Kadima faction meeting and demand that he step down, or else she would quit and lead a campaign to sack him.
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Livni, Peres, Mofaz Lead the Field to Replace Olmert as Prime Minister
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 1, 2007
The resignation on live television of minister of trade and commerce, Eytan Cabel, Labor, declaring Ehud Olmert must go as he had lost the country's confidence, was the first open crack in the government coalition. It occurred Tuesday morning, May 1, less than 24 hours after the Winograd commission handed down its harsh condemnation of Olmert, defense minister Amir Peretz and chief of staff, Lt. Gen Dan Halutz, for their handling of the Lebanon War.
But behind the scenes and its leader's back, Kadima's coalition chairman Avigdor Yitzhaki scurried around the ranks, front man for one of the key contenders for the succession, foreign minister Tzipi Livni.
The prime minister's other deserters included vice premier Shimon Peres, Israel Beitenu leader Avigdor Lieberman and most of Labor, including the three contenders for the party leadership, former PM Ehud Barak, Ami Ayalon and Ophir Pines-Paz.
That was only the first wave to batter against Olmert's defenses.
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Huge storm breaks over Israeli PM Ehud Olmert following damaging leaks from Lebanon War report on his handling of the conflict<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 30, 2007
Olmert calls a meeting of his Kadima ministers for Monday night.
The interim report covering the run-up to the war which erupted on July 12 and its first five days will be released by an inquiry panel headed by Justice Eliahu Winograd Monday afternoon, April 30. According to the leaks, the panel's find grave faults in the way the war was conducted by the prime minister, defense minister Amir Peretz and former chief of staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, who has meanwhile resigned.
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PM Olmert may not stand in for finance minister in view of new allegations against him - State Attorney
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 29, 2007
Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert has been deputizing for Avraham Hirchson who suspended himself for three months to face the police probe into charges of theft and embezzlement as head of a sick fund in the 90s. The state attorney Menahem Mazuz informed the prime minister Thursday that it would be improper for him to stand in as finance minister for the whole three months, since he himself is under several investigations.
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Abd al Hadi Engineered First al Qaeda attacks in Israel and Britain
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 28, 2007
The CIA's capture of one of Osama bin Laden's most talented operations officers, Abd al Hadi al-Iraq, Abu Abdullah, 45, is a major American counter-terror coup which turns some hidden pages in al Qaeda's arcane, bloodstained record.
Al Hadi is now credited with plotting the first direct al Qaeda suicide attack inside Israel on direct orders from Osama bin Laden.
Two British Muslims were sent to blow up the US embassy in Tel Aviv on April 30, 2003. Asif Muhammed Hanif and Omar Khan Sharif, who bombed Mike's Place instead, were headhunted at the radical Finsbury Park mosque in London. So too was Richard Reid, the failed shoe bomber serving time in the United States for attempting to blow up an American Airlines plane bound for Miami from Paris in Dec. 2002.
Past investigations established that Hanif, Sharif and Reid all spent time at Hamas training camps in the Gaza Strip before they embarked on their missions.

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Fugitive Israel-Arab lawmaker Beshara will be arrested for aiding the enemy in wartime if he sets foot in Israel
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 27, 2007
The state prosecution reports proof that the ex-lawmaker was not motivated by ideology as he claims, or alternatively, just chatting with friends across the border, but by monetary gain. Beshara is alleged to have received large sums of, which he illegally transferred to overseas accounts, from a foreign agent for transmitting information to the enemy in the Lebanon war.
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Israel marks Day of Remembrance for Fallen Soldiers, Security personnel and Terror Victims <br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 23, 2007
Tens of thousands of bereaved families flocked Monday to graveyards up and down Israel. At one of the many state ceremonies, prime minister Ehud Olmert promised he would consider their grief in a potential release of Arab terrorist prisoners for kidnapped Israeli soldiers.
Defense minister Amir Peretz said: "We will never again close our eyes to threats. Iran's nuclear program will not be allowed to cross the point of no-return."
A two-minute silence was observed. Places of entertainment remained closed until Tuesday sundown when Independence Day begins.
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Olmert: Israel has no plans to attack Syria although Damascus is clearly making war preparations
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 20, 2007
The Israeli prime minister was briefing the Knesset foreign affairs and security committee Wednesday. He criticized the Palestinians for submitting a list of prisoners to trade of Gileat Shalit knowing that Israel cannot possibly release them. His report was attacked from two ends of the opposition:
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<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> reports: Israeli government split on talks with Arab League members. All sides agree Olmert-Abbas dialogue has nowhere to go<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 18, 2007
In the face of negative Arab responses, prime minister Ehud Olmert again proposed at the weekly cabinet session in Jerusalem Sunday, April 15, that Israel enter into talks with any available combination of Arab governments. That same morning, Dep. PM Shimon Peres said he objects to contacts with any of the Arab League members before they recognize Israel.
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Fugitive Israel-Arab lawmaker Azmi Beshara admits police questioning on charge of passing information to enemy in wartime <br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 17, 2007
debkafile reports: In a 50-minute interview over Arabic TV Al Jazeera channel, Sunday night, April 15, Beshara said he had been questioned twice on the following charges:
1. Transferring classified information to the enemy. He did not name the enemy but hinted at the Lebanese Hizballah.
2. Receipt of large sums of money from hostile elements for spending in Israel. Beshara did not state the purpose of these funds but he is suspected of having been bankrolled to perform his anti-Israel activities.
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Espionage Galore under a Middle East Nuclear Cloud<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 17, 2007
On Tuesday, April 17, the Shin Bet intelligence service reported Iranian intelligence had intensified its efforts to recruit Israelis as spies, targeting former Iranians applying for visas to visit their families. One young man had been snared and paid "expenses" for enlisting a friend in security and collecting information.
Two hours later, in Cairo, a nuclear engineer Mohammed Gaber, was accused by Prosecutor-General Abdul-Maquid Mahmoud of spying on Egypt's nuclear program on behalf of the Mossad, which was said to have paid him $17,000.
Add on the US defense secretary Robert Gates' visits to Jordan, Israel and Egypt this week reportedly to coordinate and oversee preparations connected to a potential military operation against Iran and, in the view of debkafile's intelligence sources, these espionage rumbles denote a far greater upheaval boiling up below ground.
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Holocaust Remembrance Day is marked by concern for the poverty of many survivors living in Israel
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 17, 2007
According to official figures, 180,000 individuals, namely 70% percent of all survivors living in Israel, receive no state assistance or German stipends. Many migrated from the former Soviet Union in recent years. Official Israeli red tape and inattention to their needs and rights was widely condemned in all the ceremonies marking Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day Monday, April 16. The case of Holocaust survivors was formally transferred Sunday to the social welfare ministry, which pledged to draw up within a month a detailed blueprint of provisions for the survivors' care and monetary assistance. The treasury undertook to make the necessary funds available.

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Vice PM Shimon Peres objects to contacts with Arab League members before they recognize Israel<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 15, 2007
debkafile: He thus questions the verbal initiatives led by prime minister Ehud Olmert and foreign minister Tzipi Livni for negotiations with Arab League members based on the Saudi "peace plan."
debkafile: In any case, these initiatives have nowhere to go. The Saudi and Egyptian foreign ministers both responded quickly that Israel is ineligible for contacts until it shows prior proof of a change of policy.
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