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.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 9, 2008
A joint Israeli military-border police raid of the northern Jerusalem Palestinian district turned up a large secret weapons cache Monday, May 5. Seven men were arrested on suspicion of engaging in terrorism and arms trafficking. debkafile's military sources report this was Israel's first large-scale counter-terror operation in the Jerusalem municipal area.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 6, 2008
The Palestinian mother and four children who died in the middle of clashes in the Gaza town of Beit Hanoun April 28 were killed in secondary blasts from explosives carried by four Palestinian gunmen near their home. A video clip released by the Israeli army spokesman Friday, May 2, taken by a drone overhead, shows that the Israeli air force only hit the gunmen.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 2, 2008
The Israeli cabinet session opened Tuesday, April 29, in Jerusalem with prime minister Ehud Olmert voicing deep regret for the deaths of 4 Palestinian children and their mother in Bet Hanoun Monday, which two generals have been directed to investigate. He said he also regretted the Palestinian missiles hurting Israeli children and most of all, the Palestinians custom of mounting attacks out of populated areas so bringing their own innocents in harm's way too. As he spoke, 10 missiles were aimed at Sderot and kibbutzim from Gaza, 18 Monday.
The family died when two Palestinians carrying arms and large bags of explosives were hit near the family's home in Beit Hanoun by an Israeli air attack.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 1, 2008
The tank crew was unhurt by the blast which hit their vehicle Tuesday, April 29, between the Gaza border and Netiv Ha'asara. debkafile's military sources report that the incident demonstrates once again that Palestinian terrorists have no difficulty in breaching the Gazan border
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 29, 2008
After breaching the border fence opposite Kissufim Saturday night, April 26, the two Palestinians, armed and wearing flak vests, were seen heading east. Until they were caught, Israelis living in the area were told to stay indoors. This is the fourth time in two weeks that Palestinian terrorists broke through the border fence.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 28, 2008
debkafile publishes here for the first time details of the Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' master plan for wrecking Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations. The project is called the "2008 Return"
Its highlights are disclosed here with debkafile's comments.
The Palestinian leader has circulated guidelines for three million Palestinians to leave their homes on the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon on May 14 and march on Israel's borders, including the Green Line. The march is to take place a week after Israel's Independence Day on May 8, 2008. If Israel obstructs their passage, they will strike camp and live in tents until Israel surrenders and lets them through.
debkafile's Palestinian sources report that Mahmoud Abbas intends to submit his ambitious master plan to the summit of Arab rulers meeting in Damascus March 29.
There is no knowing how much support he will win from Arab governments or whether the different Palestinian communities will rise to his call. The whole plan may simply fold for lack of response - or not. Abbas' main objectives appear to be to upstage the warlike Hamas and throw a wet blanket over Israel's anniversary celebrations.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 28, 2008
The Palestinian terrorist group's reply was handed to Egyptian intelligence minister Gen. Omar Suleiman Thurs. April 24. It was delivered by Hamas leaders Mahmoud a-Zahar and Siad Siyam, who flew in to Cairo with their orders after Hamas' Damascus-based leaders conferred with Syrian and Iranian intelligence officers in the Syrian capital. They also ordered Hamas-Gaza to step up its attacks on Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 27, 2008
On Wednesday, April 23, Israel reopened all the Gaza crossings, including those attacked last week by Hamas: Kerem Shalom, Erez and the Nahal Oz fuel terminal, and restored fuel supplies to the Gaza population. debkafile reports: Four hours after the opening, Israeli forces were alerted to Palestinian gunmen threatening the Sufa crossing as the supply trucks rolled through.
Our sources disclose this step as being a unilateral Israel gesture to Hamas to encourage the Palestinian terrorist group to accept the Egyptian-brokered arrangement for Gaza.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 21, 2008
Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal voiced this threat Saturday, April 12.
debkafile's military sources report that the raid by Palestinian gunmen on the Israeli-Gaza fuel terminal - and murder of two of its employees, Oleg Lipson and Lev Cerniak - were meant to set the stage for a mass Hamas assault on the Gaza-Israeli border under the pretext of a protest against fuel shortages.
Our sources report that these shortages are a myth: Hamas has tons of heavy oil and petrol in stock, but reserves it for "military use." The population is kept short and ripe for action against "the Israeli and Egyptian blockade" of the Gaza Strip.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 20, 2008
debkafile's military sources report that a band of terrorists broke through the border barrier to the Kerem Shalom goods terminal in the southern border sector Thursday, April 14. Israeli forces challenged them, killing one infiltrator in the ensuing firefight and injuring a second. The third fled. So too did the dozens of trucks bearing food and other items for the Gazan population, which turned tail when they came under Palestinian fire
Exclusive: "Killing Field" was the name of Hamas assault which killed 3 Israeli soldiers, injured three Wednesday<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 18, 2008
The fallen Israeli soldiers were Sgt. Mattan Ovdati, 19, from Moshav Patish, Sgt. Menhash Albaniyat, 20, from Kseife, both from the Negev region, and Sgt. David Papian, 21, from Tel Aviv. Hamas reported 5 dead.
A senior officer told debkafile that Hamas used tactics first seen practiced by Hizballah in the 2006 Lebanon War battles of Bint Jbeil and Maroun al-Ras. Both terror groups receive advanced training in Syria and Iran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 15, 2008
debkafile's military sources report OC Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant, his aides and local security officers took cover when they came under heavy cross-border mortar fire from Gaza Sunday, April 13. None was hurt although the Palestinian aim was precise, starting as soon as the Israeli group inspecting security measures came within sight. Four shells landed 40 yards away.
This is the third time in a month that increasingly aggressive Palestinian cross-border fire has targeted a high-ranking Israeli.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 14, 2008
The two men, Ahab Abu Riyal and Anas Salum, from the Balata refugee camp in Nablus, were arrested by Israeli security Shin Bet officers last month before they could carry out their mission on behalf of the Lebanese Hizballah. Their Fatah-al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades branch is controlled by Hizballah.
They were told to dump slow-acting poison in the food set out for customers.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 13, 2008
The proposal by senior Palestinian negotiator Yasser Abed Rabbo put forward Wed Feb. 20 to copy the Kosovo example if Israel continued to mark time in talks for a Palestinian state was quickly knocked down by his colleagues, but eyed with interest by Israel.
Tuesday, prime minister Ehud Olmert and foreign minister Tzipi Livni held another round of negotiations with Palestinian leaders Mahmoud Abbas and Ahmed Qureia.
debkafile's Middle East sources commented: Nothing has stopped the Palestinians from going ahead and declaring the West Bank independent, any more than Hamas was prevented from seizing control of and governing the Gaza Strip.
In fact, if the Kosovo model were seriously applicable to the Palestinians, Israel might profit in three ways.
Palestinian leaders may talk big about creating an independent state but when it comes to the point, their willingness to come out from under the American and Israeli umbrella, leave the gravy train and walk without external crutches is questionable.
Abd Rabbo's colleagues therefore lost no time in disowning his Kosovo vision in case it was accepted. They picked up the comment from some Israeli circles: Let them create another Kosovo; let's see how long they manage to survive on their own.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 13, 2008
debkafile's military sources report that the 19 o'clock warning siren Tuesday, April 3 - day three of the nationwide missile defense exercise - was not heard in many parts of Israel, including the Knesset - as criticism of the exercise spread.
Most people did not know where to find public shelters - none were marked - and were given no answers about protection against chemical or biological missile warfare.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 11, 2008
debkafile's Middle East sources report that direct covert talks between Palestinian Authority Chairman, the Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas and hardline Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal have been going on for three weeks and yielded a five-part framework accord.
The two parties endeavored to keep their channel under cover after Abbas promised President George W. Bush during his first visit to the Palestinian Authority on Jan. 10 that he would not hold talks with Hamas. Abbas intends to break off peace talks with Israel when the accord is finalized.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 1, 2008
The Israeli soldier Gilead Shalit (taken hostage by Hamas 21 months ago) is alive and well treated, Khalad Meshal, Hamas politburo chief, told Sky interviewer Tim Marshall in Damascus Sunday. He went on to say: "We renew our offer to Israel to let the civilian people from the two sides to be free from our conflict."
He denied Hamas killed children or attacked a kindergarten. "We don't kill anyone deliberately," the Hamas leader insisted. "The suicide bombings began in response to "Israeli crimes."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 30, 2008
debkafile's military sources report that a number of Hamas terror heavyweights were included in the last batch Egypt released of 124 operatives captured in Sinai after Hamas smashed through the border wall earlier this year.
Officers of Israel's southern command voiced dismay and astonishment at the government's failure to intercede and prevent the return to the fray of the hard core of Hamas' command echelon.