DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 8, 2008
The Cairo effort to broker a ceasefire in Gaza between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas proves now to have been no more than a cover-up for the real game afoot: a move brokered by the Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade to mend the feud between Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah and the fundamentalist Hamas.
Palestinian peace talks were secretly launched Friday, June 6 in Dakar at the end of the Organization of Islamic Conference summit for the creation of a unity government.
By taking over the Gaza administration, the PA will relieve Hamas of responsibility for wages in the public-sector (for which the Ramallah government turns over cash to Hamas anyway) and supplies of basic commodities - food, fuel and medicine. Hamas' hands will be free to fight Israel with greater energy than ever before and proceed to seize control of the West Bank to create a base for attacking Israel far more dangerous than Gaza.
Once Hamas vacates Gaza's government administration - even if this is just a formality - and PA guards man the border crossings, Israel can no longer sustain its blockade of the territory.
Neither can Israel's military hit back when Hamas and its terrorist allies shoot missiles and mortars against its population.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 4, 2008
The group of 180 was allowed to cross Israel to Ramallah through the Nahal Oz crossing Sunday, Aug. 3, at the request of the Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas. They included a large group of men admitted to Israeli hospitals with injuries sustained in intense daylong mortar, rocket and machine gun battles between Hamas and the pro-Fatah Hilles clansmen in the Gaza Strip's Shijaiyeh district. At least nine people were killed and more than 100 injured in the fighting, the biggest Palestinian factional clash since Hamas seized control of Gaza a year ago. Among them was the Hilles leader Ahmed Hilles.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 28, 2008
Palestinian security forces rounded up 15 West Bank Hamas activists and associates in Tulkarm Sunday, July 27, including the local mufti. Hamas arrests of the rival Fatah's operatives in the Gaza Strip increased to 200 Sunday after a bomb explosion outside a Gaza beachside cafe killed five senior Hamas operatives and a young girl Friday night
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 25, 2008
Israeli Border Guards troops intercepted a vehicle carrying a 12-kilo explosive charge attached to a gas canister and several pipe bombs outside Kafin village east of the West Bank town of Jenin on Wednesday, July 23. The device which was detonated in a controlled explosion was rigged ready for an attack in central Israel. The three Palestinians in the car got away are being hunted. One was identified as Fadi Kathni, Jihad Islami commander in the Jenin region, who is wanted for plotting a string of terror attacks.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 17, 2008
debkafile's counter-terror sources report that Hamas media Wednesday night broadcast a call to all Palestinian organizations to enlist for an all-out terrorist offensive against Israeli military and civilian targets on the West Bank.
The immediate response was a bombing attack on an IDF vehicle on Route 60 south of the West Bank town of Hebron. No one was hurt.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 5, 2008
debkafile's military sources report that the Palestinian Hamas' armed wing, determined to keep fellow terrorist groups from violating the ceasefire with Israel, has in the last two days deployed a string of 1,000 sentries and monitors at the missile sites of the northern Gaza towns of Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahiya.
Oddly enough, Hamas has assumed the role of protector of Sderot against Palestinian missiles and mortars.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 22, 2008
The Egyptian-brokered informal truce "lull" started Thursday, June 19, at 0600 hours after the Palestinians hurled some 35 missiles and mortar rounds at Israeli locations within range of the Gaza Strip in one day, causing heavy damage. Israeli forces knocked out another Palestinian missile team, killing one member and injuring two, before the sixth-month truce kicked in. Opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu called the deal a disgrace because it did not apply to the kidnapped Israel soldier, Gilead Shalit's release, and left Hamas free to rearm undisturbed.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 17, 2008
Hamas marks the first anniversary of its seizure of Gaza by expanding its anti-Israel war tactics. Israeli military leaders foresee a sharp escalation in the violence emanating from Gaza in the coming days, debkafile's military sources report. Hamas' mounting audacity highlights what many military experts are openly calling the bankruptcy of Israel's static defensive tactics.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 17, 2008
Israeli forces shot dead 5 armed Palestinians carrying a powerful explosive device in before they reached the Gaza-Israeli border early Monday, June 16. While Hamas bargained over Gaza truce terms in Cairo, three Palestinians were sighted lugging a heavy bag near a border route patrolled by a Givati Brigade border detachment. The soldiers crossed the border and shot them dead and detonated the bomb in a controlled explosion.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 15, 2008
Under cover of a barrage of more than 50 missiles, mortars and rocket, Hamas made three attempts to breach the Gaza border fence for major suicide bombings, the last one late Thursday, June 12. They sent a bulldozer to ram Netiv Ha'asara, a bomb car to crash the border fence and gunmen on foot to blow up the Erez crossing. Israel ground and air units foiled them all.
Israeli locations from Ashkelon in the north down to Shear Hanegev, Kibbutz Nir Oz and Sderot were struck by 20 missiles, one Grad rocket and more than 35 mortar shells. A woman was injured at Kibbutz Yad Mordecai.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 14, 2008
A spokesman of the Hamas military wing confirmed Friday, June 13, that the blast which leveled a large house in Beit Lahiya Thursday was caused by work on explosives being prepared for a major terrorist attack ("Special Jihad Strike") in Israel at the home of regional commander Ahmed Hamuda. He survived the huge blast, but his baby daughter was killed along with 8 high-ranking Hamas activists.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 13, 2008
After two days of talks in Dakar mediated by Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade, Palestinian factions Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah and fundamentalist Hamas stated in a joint statement Monday, June 9, that an "atmosphere of trust and mutual respect" had been restored.
debkafile's Exclusive Report traces the steps leading up to and expected to follow this development.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 7, 2008
The new weapon, of the type used by the Lebanese Hizballah against northern Israel, was fired for the first time by Palestinians from Gaza Tuesday, June 3. It landed on open ground in Shaar Henegev.
The newly smuggled weapon carries a 8 kg payload - bigger than the Qassam missile with about the same 9 km range - drastically escalates the Hamas-led war against the southwestern Israeli population. For the first time, the Palestinian terrorists have acquired a weapon launched from a vehicle.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 3, 2008
The new weapon, of the Katyusha type used by the Lebanese Hizballah against northern Israel, was fired for the first time by Palestinians from Gaza Tuesday, June 3. It landed on open ground in Shaar Henegev.
The newly smuggled 107 mm weapon carries a 8 kg payload - bigger than the Qassam missile with about the same 9 km range - drastically escalates the Hamas-led war against the southwestern Israeli population. For the first time, the Palestinian terrorists have acquired a weapon launched from a vehicle.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 29, 2008
Shin Bet director Yuval Diskin reported to Israel's weekly cabinet meeting Sunday, May 25, on Hamas' rapidly expanding arsenal. He said it is only a question of time before Palestinian rockets from Gaza fly past Ashkelon to Israel's main port of Ashdod, 25 km south of Tel Aviv and the town of Kiryat Gat, 30 km further south. Hamas, in Diskin's view, is unlikely to accept a ceasefire.
Internal security minister Avi Dichter divulged the mechanism whereby the Israeli taxpayer indirectly bankrolls Hamas.
Palestinian suicide truck packed with 4.5 tons explosives - most powerful ever - blows up outside Gaza-Israel crossing<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 25, 2008
debkafile's counter-terror sources report that the truck bomb containing 4.5 tons of explosives was the most powerful ever used against Israel - even in the darkest days of the Palestinian terrorist campaign. The explosion occurred early Thursday, May 22, on the Gaza side of the border, 50 meters short of the Erez crossing. It caused no Israeli casualties, but wrecked the border terminal, blasted a big hole in the border wall and shattered windows in Israel buildings.
debkafile's military sources report Israeli forces quickly roped off a large sector outside northern Gaza as a closed military zone to search for infiltrators.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 20, 2008
Jerusalem police have rounded up another 6 Palestinians at the Shufat camp of northern Jerusalem in a second sweep for illicit weapons and explosives. Shufat's 10,000 inhabitants bear Israeli resident's IDs with social benefits. In the first raid of the camp on May 5, debkafile disclosed that large quantities of pistols, hand grenades, stun grenades, ammo and military equipment as well as LAW anti-tank rockets were impounded.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 18, 2008
Once again, after two previous successes, Hamas proved Saturday, April 19 it was capable of ramming through Israel's border defenses against the Gaza Strip. This time, Israeli troops acted expeditiously and boldly enough to prevent a major Palestinian breakthrough at the Kerem Shalom crossing and fatal casualties. Thirteen members of the Southern Command's Bedouin Desert Patrol Battalion were injured, none of them seriously.
These troops performed their mission of foiling a Hamas killing-cum-kidnap rampage, although they were not armed with advance warning or the anti-tank weapons for dealing with the Palestinian group's two armored personnel carriers and two explosives-packed jeeps.
The attack testified graphically that Hamas' movements and plans in the Gaza Strip are a closed book for the Israeli army's operational intelligence.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 18, 2008
debkafile's military sources report: A barrage of 6 Qassam missiles wase fired in two volleys at Sderot. One hit the Neve Shalom synagogue near a nursery school. Several people were treated for shock. The rest landed around Shear Hanegev, starting fires. Thursday morning, May 15, a Grad (Katyusha) rocket was aimed at the town of Netivot east of the Gaza Strip, the day after a rocket wrecked the Ashkelon shopping mall and injured 100 people. This time it fell short and exploded on open ground. Netivot has now been connected to the Red Color alert system.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 14, 2008
Israeli units around Gaza, including the air force, are on the highest alert, debkafile's military sources report, for Palestinian terror groups to follow up their rocket attack on the Ashkelon shopping mall, which injured 77 civilians, with more aggressive actions. Aside from rocket fire, according to our sources, Hamas is planning to stage mass marches Thursday, May 15, to batter the Gaza-Israel border crossings and fence.