DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 2, 2002
The following is an exclusive interview held by debkafile's special correspondent Monday morning, April 2, with Wail Hammoudeh, director of the Ramallah hospital, Mustashfa al Ri'aya al Arabiyya, in person. The interview is presented here verbatim.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 1, 2002
In the last 24 hours, the Palestinians have produced new tactics for assailing Israeli armed forces engaged in a major operation to uproot Palestinian terror.
In Qalqilya Sunday morning, April 1, eight hours after a large Israeli tank and ground force took control of the West Bank city, seven Israeli soldiers were injured, one seriously, by a Palestinian trap. Sent to silence a rooftop sniper, they entered the room below - at which point six explosives planted in the room were detonated.
In Ramallah, one of the houses scoured by Israeli troops for terrorists and weapons was filled with gas during the night. The Palestinians attempted to ignite the gas when the soldiers were inside, but failed.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 31, 2002
In a scathing attack on Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, President George W. Bushsaid Saturday night, March 30, that he understood Israel's actions were necessary for its self-defense: "Their country is under attack - every day there is loss of innocent life." He added: "in order for Israel to exist, terror must stop." He said the United States was fighting terror - not only in Afghanistan, but in the Middle East too, he urged Arab leaders to make a concerted and focused effort to stop terror and secure Israel. At the same time, he warned Israeli leaders to make sure not to miss the path to peace.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 31, 2002
Three days into the massive counter-terror military operation Israeli launched last Friday, March 29, Israel troops and tanks moved from four directions on their second target: the West Bank town of Qalqilya.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 28, 2002
The Palestinians' latest murderous outrage against Israelis sitting down for the Passover Seder at the Park Hotel in Netanya was a typical gesture by Yasser Arafat. Confined in Ramallah for three months and slighted by the Arab heads of state - who refused to broadcast his speech live to the opening session of the Arab League summit in Beirut Wednesday, March 27 - he decided if he could not be there in person, his deeds as a super terrorist would steal the show.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 28, 2002
Many thousands of police and troops spent the first day of the Passover festival patrolling the streets and synagogues of Jerusalem on a high alert that never ends. After the outrage in Netanya's Park Hotel cut short the Passover Seder Wednesday, March 27, the men in uniform can only pray for eyes in the back of their heads. In the last two days, Jerusalem has been saved a succession of major terror strikes by security vigilance, including an all-out attack on the main city mall at Malha, to which most shoppers have been driven by the massacres in downtown Jerusalem.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 22, 2002
The wild Middle East reality has produced one of its most bizarre twists: According to debkafile's American and Palestinian sources, the initiative to let Yasser Afafat travel to Beirut for the Arab League summit opening next week comes from ...Ariel Sharon and a group of Israeli government ministers.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 21, 2002
The Palestinian suicide bombing that shattered lives and storefronts in downtown Jerusalem on Thursday also made a shambles of any coherent Israeli and US policy toward Yasser Arafat. The aftershock of the attack would be even greater where it not for an Israeli court's gag order, issued at the urging of the prime minister's office, banning full debkafilereporting on the atrocity.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 18, 2002
Monday, March 18, just before US Vice President Richard Cheney landed in Israel to wind up his 12-nation tour of the region, US Middle East envoy Anthony Zinni extracted from the US- Israeli-Palestinian security commission a limited accord.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 17, 2002
Israelis, faced with daily terrorist attacks on civilian targets, have been smothered in a blanket of diplo-babble since the US Middle East envoy Anthony Zinni landed last Thursday, March 15. But while Israelis were left to grope their way through an opaque thicket of verbiage, the Palestinians simply carried on as usual.
On day three of the Zinni mission, one Israeli civilian was killed and 32 injured in two terrorist attacks in the first part of Sunday, March 17 - both in the heart of Israeli cities.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 5, 2002
Tuesday, between 02:15 and 09:00 hours Israel time, Palestinian terrorists slew 5 Israelis and injured 63 in attacks in Tel Aviv, Afula and the Tunnel Road leading out of Jerusalem. Each time the level of bloodshed hits a new and intolerable high - as it did last Saturday and Sunday - it gets worse. By upping the pace of terror attacks and killing more Israelis, Arafat is throwing a gauntlet at the feet of US president George W. Bush - namely, he will prove he can topple Ariel Sharon before the Americans even get started on overturning Saddam Hussein.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 26, 2002
Just over three weeks ago, Palestinian Authority paymasters, about to hand out January wage packets to civilian and security personnel, were taken aback to find that the $50 million earmarked for the purpose had gone missing. At a loss, they asked their bosses what to do and were told there was nothing for it but to take the problem to Yasser Arafat. However, in the top man's presence, no- one said a word. Every one of those staffers knew exactly who had taken the money and what it was spent on: Arafat's latest Fatah-Tanzim terror cycle, already referred to by insiders as The Palestinian Tet Offensive.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 24, 2002
Israel's security cabinet decision Sunday, February 24, to slightly ease Yasser Arafat's conditions of confinement in Ramallah was accompanied by a pullback of the tanks besieging his headquarters for nearly three months. But to leave thisWest Bank hub town - he wants to attend the Arab League summit in Beirut on March 28 - he will have to ask Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon for permission.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 18, 2002
Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon brushed aside the widespread criticism of his handling of Palestinian terror as politically motivated, when he addressed a Likud party faction meeting Monday, February 17. He declared brusquely that he doesn't need experts to advise him on how to combat terror.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 12, 2002
Israel's policy-makers and military tacticians both came badly out of the first round of Palestinian rocket warfare. Notwithstanding the generals' claim that the armed forces were ready for this acute upturn in Palestinian violence, their deployment has been slow and unwieldy in the face of the new threat.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 27, 2002
Noon Sunday, January 27, after Yasser Arafat declared publicly that "one million martyrs are on their way to Jerusalem", the first woman suicide bomber detonated a massively powerful bomb-belt in the middle of the road on Jerusalem's busy Jaffa Street. The blast went up at the same place that a Palestinian gunman killed two women and wounded 49 five days earlier.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 26, 2002
debkafile 's Washington sources report that the White House is holding back till next week the punitive actions against Yasser Arafat decided on at a top-level presidential forum convened by US president George W. Bush on Friday, January 25.
Called to the White House policy review on the Palestinian question were secretary of state Colin Powell, defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice. Bush called his advisers to decide not only how to deal with Yasser Arafat, but also how to fit American punitive moves against him into the broader US Middle East-Gulf policy revision currently underway.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 23, 2002
debkafile's military sources report that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has ordered his 20,000-man police force to take to the war field - a drastic step that moves his confrontation with Israel into the realm of full-scale belligerence. Militarizing his police force is more than just another blatant violation of the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords, which established the Palestinian Authority and allowed it to establish a police force confined to civilian duties; it is their death blow.