Palestinian radical groups warn Israeli locations north of Sderot, including Ashkelon, to prepare for missile attacks. Hamas activates West Bank cells for suicide operations
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 26, 2007
The warning to Ashkelon and points north of Gaza came from Jihad Islami and Popular Resistance Groups as well as Hamas.
debkafile also reports: Hamas military chief Mohammed Jabari has instructed all West Bank cells to launch suicide attacks in Israeli towns forthwith.
Sniper teams are directed to target roads on West Bank as well as Jerusalem and the Sharon district. The order advises the cells to do the best they can.
Israeli army, police and security services have raised their level of preparedness to maximum along the West Bank border as Israelis get ready for the Shavuot festival Tuesday night and Wednesday.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span>: Yet another Fatah-Hamas ceasefire folds although renewed clashes are not reported<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 23, 2007
Sunday, Day 2 of the truce, Hamas attempted to assassinate the acting chief of General Intelligence in the Gaza Strip, Gen. Muhammad al Masri. Fatah retaliated by knifing to death a leading Hamas preacher, Sheik Namir Hamad.
In the early hours of the ceasefire Saturday, armed men of both factions began leaving their positions in building and streets, hostages were released and road blocks removed
Too Late for Talks with a Hamas Bent on Helping Iran Build Gaza into an Anti-US Anti-Israel Base<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 21, 2007
As the Hamas-led multiple missile offensive against Israel marked its first week, voices were heard in Israel and overseas, well-meaning or despairing, calling for Israel to start talks with the Palestinian Islamist group's leaders.
Hamas soon knocked that notion on the head. After hurling some 150 missiles against Israel, one of its officials, Nizhar Riyah, issued a clear statement of intent Monday, May 21:
"Hamas is determined to wipe Israel off the map and replace it with the state of Palestine," he said. Hamas will fight "until the last Jew is expelled" - not only from Sderot but also from Ashkelon and "all of Palestine."
Hamas's blitz against Israel is part and parcel of a savage offensive to destroy the Palestinian Authority and oust Mahmoud Abbas, which is aligned with Tehran's overall strategy for anticipating two prospective events in 2007 and 2008:
One is the beginning of the withdrawal of the bulk of the US army from Iraq. The other is the possibility, though not certainty, of an American military strike against Iran's nuclear installations and strategic infrastructure.
To prepare for the two eventualities, Tehran is building a military and logistical base in the Gaza Strip.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 20, 2007
Under the agreement, armed men were to leave their positions in buildings and streets, remove road blocks and release hostages.
Most of the 55 killed in four days of Palestinian factional violence were Fatah adherents or members of Mahmoud Abbas' security services.
debkafile reports long pauses in the factional violence Friday and Saturday when the Israeli Air Force moved in over the northern Gaza Strip to strike Hamas installations and operatives. At least 11 Hamas operatives died in those attacks.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 19, 2007
Masseb Bashir, 25, from Deir el-Balakh admitted charges of intelligence-gathering on security arrangements at the prime minister's residence at the Jerusalem district court Thursday. He informed his controllers that security was too tight to breach. The plot's intended victims also included cabinet members Lieberman and Sneh, Labor MK Ofir Pines and the director of the Antiquities Dept.
Bashir had a valid entry pass to Israel as an associate of the international Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF).
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 18, 2007
On Day 6 of the brutal Palestinian factional war and Day 4 of the Hamas missile offensive against southern Israel, two ruthless figures have emerged as the dominant factors in both conflicts: Ahmad Jabari, commander of Hamas Executive Forces, and Jamal Jarah, better known as Abu Obeida, spokesman of Hamas' military wing.
They are jerking the strings which activate the Palestinian Authority, Israel and Egypt. It is they who have escalating the violence in both sectors to unprecedented levels, to the point of posing the threat of spilling out of the Gaza Strip to Israel's other borders.
A senior Israeli officer commented Thursday: "The fire burning in Sderot and Gaza could spread suddenly to Lebanon or Syria."
If Olmert holds the army back from a direct confrontation with Hamas, the missile offensive will develop into a war of attrition on Israel's southwestern border. Hamas has threatened to expand its offensive to towns which are larger and more distant from Gaza's borders than Sderot. If, on the other hand, Israel goes ahead and clobbers Hamas, it faces the multiple threats of renewed suicidal terror in its main cities and of Hizballah and Syria joining in to support Hamas.
It looks therefore as though the widely predicted Summer 2007War is already upon Israel - and it won't be an easy one.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 15, 2007
Hani al-Kawasmeh quits as Palestinian minister of interior for lack of authority to activate the security services for restoring order in Gaza. Palestinian government spokesman Mohammed Barghouti warns that the Gaza Strip is on the verge of degenerating onto a second Somalia. debkafile's Palestinian sources report that the streets are ruled by warring armed gangs over which the rival factions are losing control, leaving the Saudi-brokered Mecca reconciliation accords in tatters.
Hamas' Abu Obeid threatens: Gilead Shalit will be put to death if Israel carries out military operation in Gaza <br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 10, 2007
The decision, he says, rests with Hamas' military arm, Ezz e-Din al-Qassam.
UK consul Richard Makepeace meets Hamas PM Ismail Haniya to discuss fate of kidnapped BBC reporter Alan Johnston<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 9, 2007
debkafile reports: No progress has been made for his release since Palestinian gunmen seized the English correspondent in Gaza City nearly three months ago. Appealing to Haniya is fruitless since he has no control or access to Johnston's fate. The rift between Hamas and al Qaeda-Palestine which holds Johnston is deepening.
Makepeace stated that his meeting with the Hamas prime minister was confined to the single issue of the BBC reporter and did not breach the international boycott of Hamas.
Hamas list of released prisoners is non-negotiable, the only way to gain Gilead Shalit's recovery - Khaled Meshaal in Damascus<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 4, 2007
Sunday night, the hard-line Hamas leader said at a Damascus meeting that Israel had rejected the list of jailed prisoners on two counts: most had "blood on their hands" and it included Israeli Arabs. "There is no other list on offer for Gilead Shalit's freedom," said Meshaal. If that is rejected, Hamas will kidnap more Israeli soldiers.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Military Report: No sign of ground action in Hamas' massive missile-mortar barrage on southern Israel Tuesday <br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 28, 2007
Israel lodged a strong protest with the UN Security Council over the Hamas missile-mortar attack and attempted kidnap of another Israeli soldier. debkafile's military sources report the only indication that Hamas was ready for a ground incursion was the heavy direct fire directed at the Israeli positions clustered on the Israel-Gaza crossing at Kerem Shalom.
Hamas blasts Israeli locations around Gaza with mortars and missiles early Tuesday: "Message to Zionist enemy, our strikes will continue." <br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 28, 2007
Ten mortar shells struck Sderot's Hadar district by 8:30 a.m. local time; 6 Qassam missiles exploded in other parts of the W. Negev up to Ashkelon causing damage but no casualties. Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida: "This is a message to the Zionist enemy that our strikes will continue. We have the means and we hold Gilead Shalit."
debkafile's military sources report: Hamas' strategic decision to go back to its missile, terror and suicide operations was taken after the organization, which dominates Palestinian government, judged its stockpile of ordnance sufficient to sustain a heavy blitz of Israel's towns and villages.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Exclusive: Hamas threatens to start abducting Israelis and Jews overseas
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 24, 2007
The threat, issued Sat. April 21, is in response to Israel's refusal to bow to the terms for releasing the Israeli soldier Gilead Shalit and BBC correspondent Alan Johnston. Israeli security sources: Lacking networks outside the Gaza Strip and West Bank, Hamas is expected to employ the extensive Lebanese Hizballah covert infrastructure which branches out across the Middle East, Africa and Europe, for its threatened kidnap offensive abroad. In the next 24 hours, Palestinian spokesmen plan to release another false bulletin purporting progress in the negotiations for the release of Gilead Shalit. debkafile's sources stress that these bulletins are fabricated deliberately to deceive.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 24, 2007
The gunman opened fire on the Israeli car at the north Jerusalem Hizmeh checkpoint and made off on foot. Two Qassam missiles were fired from the Gaza Strip Sunday, the day after a direct hit on their home left six Israelis injured in the southern Israeli town of Sderot. It was one of four fired that day.
Undercover Israeli troops shoot dead three armed Palestinians in act of drive-by shooting near Jenin<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 22, 2007
Two belonged to Fatah-Al Aqsa Brigades, one Jihad Islami. They had joined forces for the attack outside the northern West Bank town.
In an earlier incident near Jenin Saturday, an IDF force killed a Palestinian rooftop sniper shooting at their patrol. Three bombs were hurled first. There were no Israel casualties in either incident.
Israeli Air Force helicopter strikes vehicle in Jebalya in N. Gaza after three Qassam missiles injure 6 Israelis in Sderot Saturday night
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 22, 2007
A Palestinian Jihad Islami operative was killed. The three Palestinian missiles damaged a home in Sderot and injured its occupants. A fourth missile from Gaza Saturday night exploded near Netiv Ha'Asara to the north
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Exclusive: Iran-backed Jihad Islami claims new homemade warhead and engine extends Qassam missile range to 18 km
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 21, 2007
The Palestinian Jihad Islami boasted Sunday, April 15, to have already tested a two-stage missile Al Quds-3 (Qassam) with new engine and warhead and attained a range of 18 km. The extremist group claimed to have amassed sufficient stocks in the Gaza Strip to fire dozens of missiles a day for a whole year against neighboring Israeli locations.
Palestinian security forces break up a demo to protest kidnapping of BBC reporter Alan Johnston in Gaza<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 20, 2007
The protest by Palestinian journalists took place outside the Palestinian parliament in Gaza Tuesday, April 17. The BBC reporter has been missing for five weeks since Palestinian gunmen seized him. There has been no word on his fate except for an unverified claim by an al Qaeda-linked Palestinian group that he had been killed.
Hamas mounts a new suicide terror offensive against Israeli cities from the West Bank. The first attack was planned for the Seder Feast in Tel Aviv
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 15, 2007
In a combined operation, the Shin Bet and IDF rounded up in the West Bank town of Qalqilya 19 members of a Hamas network which managed to send a truck loaded with 100 kilos of explosives into Greater Tel Aviv on Passover Eve.
For some unknown reason, the truck, which was to have kicked off the resumed Hamas suicide offensive, turned back and was accidentally detonated in the West Bank.
BBC, Sky, CNN and Al Jazeera News channels issue joint appeal Thursday for release of BBC's Alan Johnston four weeks after his abduction by Palestinian gunmen in Gaza<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 14, 2007
The British journalist is held by the same Palestinian groups which kidnapped the Israeli soldier Gideon Shalit 10 months ago. No word has been received on the fate of either of the two men.