DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 13, 2014, 8:49 PM (GMT+02:00)
President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have decided to distance themselves for the time being from Israeli-Palestinian talks until Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas find their own way back to the table, debkafile reports exclusively. Kerry says the US will now use “a light touch,” while counting on Netanyahu and chief negotiator Justice Minister Tzipi Livni to bring Abbas around. A new Israeli proposal is ready to put before the Palestinian team. Jonathan Pollard may yet be freed.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 10, 2014, 11:41 PM (GMT+02:00)
Washington is in a big hurry to finalize a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran to avert the military action building up around the Islamic Republic.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 10, 2014, 11:40 PM (GMT+02:00)
Moscow would prefer a Ukraine federation respecting provincial minority rights to a Russian invasion.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 10, 2014, 11:40 PM (GMT+02:00)
The Revolutionary Guards plan to build Iran’s first nuclear bomb by autumn and will not allow President Rouhani to make concessions in negotiations with the six powers that may shut the program down.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 10, 2014, 10:53 AM (GMT+02:00)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided not to delay the launch of Israel’s improved Ofek 10 spy satellite Wednesday night April 9, hours after the six powers and Iran wound up another round of talks in Vienna on a comprehensive nuclear accord. debkafile: Israel decided to show some muscle after the Obama administration agreed to raise Iran’s weapons program in future talks, but refused to go into any detail or promise a tough US response if Tehran continued to pretend that its weapons program is non-existent and therefore not up for negotiation.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 5, 2014, 7:25 PM (GMT+02:00)
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has proved time and again that he will never endorse any accord for ending the dispute with Israel. US Secretary of State John Kerry has finally accepted this. An interim deal, which he refused to consider, might buy a few years’ grace in the dispute before breaking up, because it is the conflict that keeps Abbas in power. debkafile: Some Palestinian eyes are looking at the Saudi-UAE-Egyptian bloc and its war on the Muslim Brotherhood i.e. Hamas, which the US opposes. Israel too is seriously interested.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 4, 2014, 12:54 AM (GMT+02:00)
Obama wants to avoid another diplomatic debacle in the Middle East, after Egypt and Syria and so he may cut short John Kerry’s bid to keep Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations going.
DEBKAfile Special Report April 1, 2014, 11:05 PM (GMT+02:00)
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas did not announce his walkout from the negotiations with Israel or turn down the package of far-reaching Israeli concessions which US Secretary of State John Kerry assembled with Binyamin Netanyahu early Wednesday, April 1. He turned his back on them by sending out applications in the name of “the independent Palestinian state” for membership of 12 UN agencies - in breach of his commitment ahead of the negotiations. The Kerry-Netanyahu bid for an extension of the talks gave Abbas his chance to dump them.
To get at Obama and Kerry, Arab League summit drafts hard-line ultimatums for Israeli-Palestinian peace track
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 25, 2014, 1:03 PM (GMT+02:00)
The Arab League summit opening in Kuwait Tuesday, March 25, is set to carry hard-line ultimatums as a means of derailing US-sponsored Palestinian-Israeli talks and as a red flag for President Barack Obama three days before he lands in Riyadh. debkafile: They will insist on a veto on recognizing Israel as the Jewish national state, mandating all parts of East Jerusalem, including Al Quds al Sharif (Temple Mount) and the entire Old City of Jerusalem, as the capital of a Palestinian state; and the immediate release of all Palestinians in Israeli jails.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis March 22, 2014, 9:12 PM (GMT+02:00)
Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has won little backing at home for his outspoken remarks against US policies. Up until Saturday night, March 22, Binyamin Netanyahu let him face the music alone when John Kerry demanded an apology – and even when the State Dept dismissed his clarifications to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel as not enough. debkafile: But Ya'alon is good company in the region, where Saudi King Abdullah, his intelligence chief Prince Bandar, Egyptian ruler Gen. Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi and others slam US policies even more vigorously.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 14, 2014, 8:40 PM (GMT+02:00)
The profound West-Russian discord on Ukraine was accentuated rather than eased by the six hours of talks held by US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in London Friday, March 14. Still poles apart – “no single vision” - they addressed reporters separately. Moscow would not consider calling off Sunday’s Crimean referendum, which the US and Europe judges illegal and for which Kerry warned there would be “consequences.” Putin will not decide on his next steps on Ukraine until the “will of the Crimean people” is known.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 13, 2014, 11:45 PM (GMT+02:00)
The last Western hope for averting the Crimean referendum Sunday and a major showdown between the two world powers rested with Chancellor Angela Merkel. But even she failed to sway Putin.
Russia launches paratroop exercise east of Ukraine. Moscow tycoons move assets from West to Far East
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 11, 2014, 7:43 PM (GMT+02:00)
The clash between Russia and the West over the Ukraine crisis is heating up militarily, economically and verbally in the countdown to the Crimean referendum on secession on Sunday March 16. Tuesday, March 11, Russia launched its biggest military exercise in 20 years. It encompasses command elements, rapid deployment forces and paratroops and takes place in western Russia not far from the Ukraine border. As the West started working on sanctions, debkafile reports that tycoons close to President Putin shifted assets to the Far East two months ago.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 7, 2014, 1:04 AM (GMT+02:00)
Netanyahu persuaded Obama to back Israel’s raid on an Iranian missile ship to improve his soft image and possibly deter Putin from further military action in Ukraine.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 28, 2014, 11:31 PM (GMT+02:00)
Thirteen giant Ilyushin-76 air transports (NATO codenamed IL-76 Candid) flew into the Crimea Friday night, Feb. 28, and landed some 2,000 fresh Russian troops at a military airfield near Sebastopol. debkafile’s military sources report the new intake belonged to the Russian Rapid Intervention Force. They arrived as the UN Security Council in New York discussed the Kiev government’s protest against the Russian military invasion of Ukraine. Armed Russian troops earlier took control of the runways of Crimea’s two main airports at Simferopol and Sevastopol.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 28, 2014, 12:16 AM (GMT+02:00)
Crimea is Russia’s main springboard for Putin’s Mid East strategy. Kerry’s last-ditch phone call to Lavrov may avert a Russian military operation – but at a steep price for Kiev and the West.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 13, 2014, 10:20 PM (GMT+02:00)
Mahmoud Abbas is maneuvering for a deal with Hamas to gain control of Gaza’s borders and send Kerry and his framework accord back to the drawing board.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 11, 2014, 9:23 AM (GMT+02:00)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has informed Washington of his acceptance in principle of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s framework document - subject to reservations raised with US Special Envoy Martin Indyk. A high-ranking US official told debkafile: “We all know the die is cast in Jerusalem and Netanyahu has accepted Kerry’s guidelines. They are now working on the reservations he needs to submit for his government coalition to survive the expected storm of protest and resistance and for the talks with the Palestinians to carry on” to a final accord.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis February 7, 2014, 11:51 AM (GMT+02:00)
The give-and-take over an Israeli-Palestinian accord, doggedly kept afloat by US Secretary of State John Kerry, is evolving into a complex personal dynamic: Israel’s A-team - Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon – are not of one mind on the issues; Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’s popular base is infamously narrow and flimsy. And John Kerry, too, needs to overcome reservations in President Obama’s White House team to obtain his blessing. He is not entirely sure he will get it.