DEBKAfile Special Report September 23, 2011, 10:55 PM (GMT+02:00)
In their speeches to the UN General Assembly Friday, Sept. 23, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas agreed only on the importance of reviving peace talks. Otherwise they were daggers drawn. Yet the Middle East Quartet later issued a call for both to start peace talks in a month to end within a year. First, the Palestinian leader handed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon a formal request for Palestinian membership.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 22, 2011, 10:24 PM (GMT+02:00)
Israel has mobilized 22,000 police alongside thousands of soldiers, declaring the country on the highest level of preparedness for violent riots Friday, Sept. 23, when the Palestinians hold prayers and rallies in support of their application for UN membership. Radical groups are planning to break into settlements and Israeli city residential areas. The Palestinian Religious Affairs Minister has ordered all mosques, especially al Aqsa, to keep on shouting Allah is Great through loudspeakers turned up to maximum volume.
DEBKAfile Special Report September 21, 2011, 2:11 PM (GMT+02:00)
Accounts of the big diplomatic showdown at the United Nations over the Palestinian bid for statehood to be filed Friday, Sept. 23 are premature. Neither the Security Council nor the UN General Assembly will be making decisions this week; US President Barack Obama will not yet be called on to exercise his veto although he remains stuck with the Palestinian dilemma. debkafile: The Palestinian application is likely to be put on hold for weeks if not months, during which Palestinian independence celebrations could turn violent.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 19, 2011, 6:31 PM (GMT+02:00)
The US National Intelligence Director James Clapper began a surprise visit to Ankara Sunday Sept. 18, prompted by Turkish saber-rattling against key US interests: Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the information gathered by the US radar system planned for Turkey as part of the NATO missile-shield must not be shared with Israel; Monday, US Noble Energy began drilling gas off Cyprus in defiance of Turkey; and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, egged on by Ankara, headed for the UN to bid for membership.
DEBKAfile Special Report September 16, 2011, 8:05 PM (GMT+02:00)
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas announced Friday, Sept. 16, in Ramallah that he would ask the UN Security Council next week to recognize a Palestinian state. Once they have a state and a flag and recognition, the Palestinians would leave all other issues open for negotiation with Israel, he said. While citing the 1967 borders for a future Palestinian state in reference to his UN application, Abbas stressed that the real Palestinian borders were laid down by the UN in 1947.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 16, 2011, 12:02 AM (GMT+02:00)
Israeli leaders focus on Palestinian UN bid for state recognition to escape grappling with far more serious issues – hostile Turkish steps, Egypt's retreat from peace norms and Hamas' military and weapons buildup.
DEBKAfile Special Report September 15, 2011, 4:41 PM (GMT+02:00)
Thursday, Sept. 15, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas went back on his assurance 24 hours earlier to Saudi, European and Egyptian officials and decided to go through with his application to the UN Security Council on Sept. 23 for the admission of a Palestinian state to the world body. This was a pointed rebuff to the Obama administration whose envoys offered to renew US ties with the Palestinians if they refrained from applying to the Security Council. Tuesday, Abbas met with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan in Cairo.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 5, 2011, 10:40 PM (GMT+02:00)
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas surprised a group of Israeli intellectuals whom he received in Ramallah Monday, Sept. 5, by informing them that he had met Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Amman on Aug. 24. debkafile's sources disclose that the Barak-Abbas conversation in Jordan was more businesslike than diplomatic. It revolved around the Palestinian UN application to be submitted on Sep. 20 and clear security limits laid down by Barak for the Palestinian popular street response. Jordan's intelligence chief was also present.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 17, 2011, 1:16 PM (GMT+02:00)
New Israeli concessions to Hamas for the release of the Israeli soldier Gilead Shalit have not produced momentum because the kidnapped soldier has become a pawn in the power plays between Cairo, Hamas and Damascus. Khaled Meshaal's trip to Cairo came out of an Egyptian overture to Syria. Bashar Assad took the Palestinian card to serve his crackdown on the opposition and counter-balance his massacre of Latakia's Palestinians.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 15, 2011, 7:12 PM (GMT+02:00)
Monday, Aug. 15, three Egyptian army brigades of 1,700 men backed by tanks, an equal number of special policemen and 3,400 security personnel drove into the northern Sinai towns of El Arish, Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah thereby launching a mission to retake Sinai from rampant Islamists, who were also responsible for sabotaging a gas pipeline. debkafile: In their first clash with Islamic Liberation Army gunmen, three Egyptian officers were kidnapped, one gunman was killed and 11 detained.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 15, 2011, 11:11 AM (GMT+02:00)
Taking advantage of the 15-day leeway granted him by the US and Turkey, Bashar Assad Monday, Aug. 15, sent tanks and mechanized infantry into Homs, a town of 1.5 million inhabitants. Heavy shelling rings out as clouds of smoke rise over the city. Homs is Syria's third largest town and the biggest the Syrian military has attacked. In Latakia, Syrian tanks continue to battle armed Palestinians and in Brussels, NATO and Turkey get set to send the rebels anti-tank weapons.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 12, 2011, 12:56 PM (GMT+02:00)
Israel's military, police and Shin Bet security service are drilling extreme scenarios of possible Palestinian disturbances, mass rallies or even terrorist attacks in September – although there is no specific intelligence of a security threat in the offing. The authorities have also set up "September Command Centers" so as not to be caught off guard. The intelligence updates fed them on Palestinian activities contain no signs so far of organized Palestinian preparations for disorders beyond some talk at local Fatah cell level.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis July 27, 2011, 1:26 PM (GMT+02:00)
The motley group which two weeks ago set up a "tent city"to protest the unavailability of affordable housing has assumed attributes of the Arab uprisings: It enjoys backstage foreign political support - some from certain circles in Washington; it exploits genuine popular grievances for political capital; it wants regime change, namely, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's head - and is building up to achieve this as the UN votes on Palestinian statehood. A new government will then recognize Palestine within 1967 borders.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 23, 2011, 10:47 PM (GMT+02:00)
Jordan's King Abdullah II was warned in Washington this week to hurry up and introduce political reforms because a revolt against the throne was knocking at his door from neighboring Syria, debkafile's Washington sources report. US intelligence updates informed him the threat came from the potential spillover of the tumult rocking Syria. If that happened, Israel would have to decide whether to step in to save the Hashemite throne as well as preventing the unrest infecting West Bank Palestinians and Israeli Arabs communities.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 4, 2011, 7:27 AM (GMT+02:00)
The Palestinian Authority is broke. Prime Minister Salam Fayyad appealed to "donors and our Arab brothers" Sunday, June 3, for urgent assistance after being forced to halve civil servants' July wages. The US, Turkey and Saudi Arabia could save the PA from bankruptcy – in theory. But, debkafile reports, the Saudis prefer to channel cash to Jordan and Washington's bailout is conditional on Mahmoud Abbas dropping his unilateral UN initiative and going back to negotiations with Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 24, 2011, 12:14 AM (GMT+02:00)
Obama and Erdogan had divided up Arab Revolt missions between them, targeting another two Arab rulers, Muammar Qaddafi and Bashar Assad, for eventual eviction – first by diplomacy, then by force - when Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi jumped in with a demand for NATO to halt hostilities in ...
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 24, 2011, 12:14 AM (GMT+02:00)
Prime Minister Netanyahu has dropped his long-time ally and partner-in-policymaking Defense Minister Ehud Barak and turned to hardline Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman as his only adviser. But essentially, Bibi has dispensed with a circle of advisers and taken over the solo lead in all defense affairs and important foreign relations.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 20, 2011, 3:25 AM (GMT+02:00)
After sitting on the fence for six months amid the Arab uprisings, Moscow now takes a stand, capitalizing on the positions slipping out of the United States grasp in the turbulent slipstream of the Arab Revolt.
DEBKAfile Special Report May 19, 2011, 11:00 PM (GMT+02:00)
US President Barack Obama's declaration in his policy speech Thursday, May 19, that Israel should withdraw to the 1967 lines with mutually agreed territorial swaps drew forth a sharp rejection from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Before flying to Washington, he stated: The 1967 lines are indefensible. Israeli security demands an IDF presence on the Jordan River. Israel appreciates the US president's commitment to peace but a Palestinian state cannot rise at the expense of Israel's existence.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 17, 2011, 11:10 AM (GMT+02:00)
debkafile reports exclusively that President Barack Obama is ready to stamp down hard on Syrian President Bashar Assad in person for his inhuman crackdown on protest and the massacre of hundreds of dissenters. After five mass graves were found near Deraa, Obama may announce sanctions against the Syrian president even before his May 19 speech on US relations with Middle East Muslim nations, as well as recalling Ambassador Robert Ford from Damascus. Syria has threatened to hit back at Israel.