DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 29, 2007
Two missiles and several mortar shells were fired from Gaza as the Middle East conference began in Annapolis along with furious Palestinians mass rallies in Gaza and Ramallah. Also Tuesday, Nov. 27, Israeli troops opened fire on a group of armed men approaching the Kerem Shalom crossing from Gaza.
Hamas terrorist Iyad Abu Shehidam sentenced to 18 life terms for murdering 16 people by suicide blasts on two Beersheba buses in 2004<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 27, 2007
An Israeli military tribunal found the terrorist guilty of plotting and preparing the explosives for the double attack which left more than 100 injured in Aug. 2004 in the southern Israeli town of Beersheba. He was also convicted of building a bomb vest for a Palestinian bomber, who was detained in July 2004 after he got cold feet on his way to bomb the Jerusalem coffeehouse Kaffit.
Israel's army chief confirms Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah responsible for murder of an Israeli man on West Bank, reports 24 roadblocks dismantled<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 23, 2007
Ido Zoldan, 29, of Shavei Shomron, was killed at the wheel of his car in a drive-by shooting in N. West Bank Monday night, Nov. 19, claimed by Fatah-Al Aqsa Brigades. Lt. Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi confirmed Fatah were the perpetrators. The attack took place hours after Abbas met with Israeli PM Ehud Olmert and assured him his organization could and would combat Palestinian terror.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 20, 2007
It exploded in the cemetery of the residential district of Givat Zion early Monday, 19 Nov. Two more Palestinian missiles landed near Mefalsim and Zikkim. None caused casualties.
debkafile's military sources report that Hamas has begun using its new, extended range weapons, which bring Israeli towns within range. Hamas and Jihad Islami leaders have threatened to escalate their attacks on Israeli civilian locations with the approach of the Middle East conference at Annapolis, Maryland.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 18, 2007
Ahead of the US-promoted Middle East peace conference this month, Rafiq al Hussaini revealed that the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' views Thursday Nov. 8, do not differ from those of the late Yasser Arafat except in tactics, not strategy. Both entered into peace talks in order to gain as much as they could and give away nothing. debkafile Exclusive revealed earlier that Abbas rejects Israel as Jewish state and demands undivided Palestinian control of Temple Mount, among a host of other concessions.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Exclusive: Hamas in secret crash program to produce new, more powerful, extended-range missiles<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 15, 2007
The Palestinian Islamists have slowed down missile fire against Israeli towns and villages as a ruse. debkafile's military sources disclose that in fact Hamas has stopped making the regular Qassams and is deep in production of the next generation of weapons, which are more accurate, of longer range - up to 25 km -and double the explosive punch. They bring half a million Israeli civilians - half in the Negev, half in central Israel within range. Hamas plans to start shooting them in late November or early December.
Read more about the new Palestinian missile menace in debkafile's Exclusive Military Report below.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Exclusive: US-trained Palestinian special force routed in West Bank Nablus camp by Hamas-led extremists Monday<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 10, 2007
The 300-man force, introduced to Nablus Friday, Nov. 2, was thrown back Nov. 5 with five critically wounded troops in its first attempt to assume control and detain terrorists in the Nablus Balata bastion of the Fatah-al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Hamas, Jihad Islam and the Palestinian Fronts. This is reported by debkafile's exclusive military sources.
The Palestinian Authority timed the assault to coincide with the US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice's meeting in Ramallah with its chairman Mahmud Abbas.
Hamas Is Producing a New Generation of Palestinian Extra-Power, Extra-Range Missiles in Gaza and West Bank<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 9, 2007
In the last few weeks, the Palestinian Islamist Hamas has succeeded in tricking Israeli military intelligence into believing that the IDF forays behind the lines in Gaza had slowed down their Qassam missile offensive against Israeli towns and villages.
It was a ruse. debkafile's military sources disclose that stocks of the primitive Qassam missiles are low because Hamas has stopped making them and is now fully engaged in setting up the production of a new generation of missiles upgraded to a range of up to 25 km, armed with 3-kilo warheads - one-and a half times the range of the types in current use and more than double their explosive power - and greater accuracy.
Production lines are also going up in several towns on the West Bank, the territory governed by Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority. According to our intelligence sources, the Hamas target is to turn out enough new missiles in 4 to 6 weeks.
The new missiles bring half a million Israelis within range of Hamas fire - a quarter of a million in the south and a similar number in Israel's heartland north and south of Greater Tel Aviv.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 6, 2007
The Shin Bet security service detained the cell three weeks ago on charges of conspiring to murder Mayor Uri Lopliansky, carry out bombing attacks in Jerusalem and Beersheba and fire at Western Wall's Mughrabi Gate.
Sderot was without electricity several hours Sunday after two Qassam missiles from Gaza hit the Negev town, one smashing into a home. Jihad Islami claimed responsibility.
Hamas conducts big guerilla exercise in Gaza's Al Burej camp focusing on maximum Israeli troop casualties and abductions<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 5, 2007
debkafile's military sources report: Heavily armed masked Hamas operatives performed field exercises Tues. Oct. 30 in anti-aircraft tactics, assaults on buildings occupied by Israeli troops, and methods of identifying and targeting Israeli undercover and special forces units. A special sniper unit also took part in the drill.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 5, 2007
The condition laid down by Ahmed Qureia, chief Palestinian negotiator, Tuesday Oct. 30 - Israel must first accept a deadline for establishing a Palestinian state - has brought the US-sponsored peace conference close to a mission impossible. debkafile reports that Qureia was reacting to the message from President George W. Bush that US National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley brought to Jerusalem and Ramallah last week that no timetables would be imposed on Israel on the Palestinians for the discussion of core issues in their dispute.
Three suspects detained in West Bank Jamayin village over drive-by shooting attack which injured two Israelis Wednesday <br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 28, 2007
One, a soldier, was seriously hurt in the attack claimed by Fatah-al Aqsa. The shooters in a commercial van zigzagged wildly down the road, raking Israeli vehicles with gunfire. At Ariel, the van U-turned and fired at the soldiers waiting at the Ariel hitchhikers' post on the Trans-Shomron Highway before disappearing. Six vehicles were hit by flying bullets. The soldier was hospitalized with stomach injuries. debkafile's military sources: There were no Israeli roadblocks on the road either to halt the lethal vehicle or hold up its escape from the scene of attack.
Shin Bet foils Palestinian Fatah faction plot to assassinate Olmert on way to Jericho talks with Abbas. Israel lodges strong protest with PA<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 24, 2007
This first Palestinian conspiracy to kill an Israeli prime minister was directed at Ehud Olmert's June meeting with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Jericho. The Shin Bet director Yuval Diskin reported to the cabinet that Israel caught two of the five would-be assassins and, acting on Shin Bet information, Palestinian officers arrested three.
However, last week, they released the detainees - all of them on the payroll either of Abbas' US-subsidized Force 17 presidential guard or Tawfiq Tirawi's General intelligence - in time for the US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice's visit.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 21, 2007
A Palestinian fishing boat crewed by Hamas gunmen ambushed and fired on Israeli naval craft off the coast of Rafah, Gaza Strip Thursday. Fire was returned. No one was hurt. This was the first Hamas attack on Israeli vessels blockading Gaza against arms smuggling.
Abbas demands Palestinian state include all parts of West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem, else conflict with Israel continues
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 16, 2007
In an interview with Palestinian TV Oct. 10, Abbas spelled out the precise Palestinian demands for the first time. Israel must withdraw from all pre-1967 territory. The Palestinians demand all of the Gaza Strip and West Bank, plus an area inside the "no man's land" for a future Palestinian state. "We have 6,205 square kilometers on the West Bank and Gaza Strip. We want it as it is," he said, declaring his claim was supported by UN Security Council resolutions.
"This is our vision for the Palestinian independent state with full sovereignty on its borders, water and resources."
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span>: Looming over the Olmert-Abbas diplomatic impasse is the Hamas' newly streamlined war machine in Gaza<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 9, 2007
debkafile's military sources report exclusively that Hamas has managed in three months to whip up an integrated armed force under its sole command from its own and the Gaza Strip's Fatah-dominated security and intelligence bodies.
A Fatah defector Gen. Tawfiq Jabar commands the force.
In contrast, the Palestinian Authority's West Bank security agencies are crumbling.
These contrasting processes are examined in debkafile's Exclusive Military Report below.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> reports: Palestinian sources deny formula for Middle East conference in November agreed by Olmert and Abbas<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 6, 2007
While still divided on core issues of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas were reported to have agreed in Jerusalem Wednesday, Oct. 3, that the conference would mark the take-off of negotiations on a permanent settlement without limitation on time or agenda and within the framework of the Middle East roadmap. The next day, sources close to Abbas denied foregoing a timeline and agenda.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> reports: Israeli security authorities angered by Olmert's reprieve of bearer of Saddam Hussein's largesse for Palestinian terrorists<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 5, 2007
Rakad Mahmoud Salameh, aka "Abu Mahmoud" or "Rakad Salam," walks free Monday, Oct. 1, along with 90 jailed Palestinians, whose release prime minister Ehud Olmert and vice PM Haim Ramon ordered as a Ramadan gesture for Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas. The next Olmert-Abbas meeting takes place the following day, Tuesday, in Jerusalem.
debkafile's counter-terror sources report that Salameh's job was to manage Saddam Hussein's bankroll for the Yasser Arafat's suicide "al Aqsa" campaign against Israel which peaked in 2000-2002. The Iraqi dictator's policy was to promote Palestinian anti-Israel violence by oiling its wheels with the money.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 5, 2007
While Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas was immersed this week in dead-end dialogue with Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, in obedience to the United States and European powers, the Hamas applied the finishing touches to a single integrated armed force by merging its armed branches with the former Palestinian Authority security and intelligence factions which ruled the Gaza Strip until the Hamas takeover in June.
From this week, either Hamas members or Fatah defectors man all the command positions and departments of a 40,000-strong armed militia which is provided with military bases, large arsenals, armored personnel carriers, sophisticated communications and intelligence networks - most made in the US - and a logistic infrastructure befitting a regular army.
Gen. Tawfiq Jabar, late of Fatah and now a card-carrying Hamas member, has been named commander of the Gaza Strip's integrated Palestinian force.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span>: Two Hamas operatives killed, third flees, after attacking Israeli force on missile prevention operation in Gaza
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 2, 2007
An Israel soldier was slightly injured in the Hamas small arms and grenade assault. The attackers were bent on killing Israeli soldiers and if possible kidnap one or more. debkafile's military sources report this was the first time a Hamas unit had initiating this form of attack Israel forces present inside the Gaza Strip to cut down missile fire and thwart the constant attempts to spirit terrorist bands past the border.