DEBKAfile Special Report September 15, 2011
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 Libya pronto.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 24, 2011
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
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
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
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.
DEBKAfile Special Report May 14, 2011
Aviv Morag, 29, from Caesaria was killed shortly before his marriage and 17 people were injured - two in serious condition - after being run down by an Israeli Arab, 22, from Kafr Qassem in Tel Aviv, Sunday, May 15. The killer's truck swerved left and right along 2 kilometers of busy road in South Tel Aviv. After knocking over a traffic light, the driver jumped out and shouting Allah Akhbar! used the pieces to beat passers-by who eventually overpowered him.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 3, 2011
Like Iran and its surrogates, the late Osama bin Laden's organization has established networks around Israel's borders in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egyptian Sinai. In the Gaza Strip, harbored by Hamas, al Qaeda operatives have built six villas on the model of Bin Laden's compound in Pakistan. All the same, Mahmoud Abbas will join Hamas Wednesday in signing a Palestinian unity accord that opens the West Bank door not only to Hamas terror but to its al Qaeda partners enjoying sanctuary in Gaza.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 27, 2011
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu rejected the accord initialed by the two Palestinian rivals Fatah and Hamas in Cairo April 27 before the ink had dried. "You can't have peace both with Israel and Hamas," he warned the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority, although at least three previous pacts vanished without a trace. He was not alone in being caught napping by the fast work in Cairo; so too were Washington and Ankara, although both are running Palestinian back channels.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 23, 2011
The bomb which exploded Wednesday afternoon, March 23, near the No. 74 bus stop opposite Binyanei Haooma at Jerusalem's main northern entrance was detonated by remote control. It killed a female tourist and injured 30-40 passers-by and passengers. debkafile's counter-terror sources report that the attack was professionally executed by a team of three to five with local aid from Jerusalem Palestinians. Intelligence and terror experts are certain a terrorist organization activated trained bombers and may do so again.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 14, 2011
Though divided between Hamas-ruled Gaza and Fatah-ruled Ramallah, the Palestinians are holding protests in both places against both their governments Tuesday, March 15, demanding that they heal the rift and reconnect the two territories.
debkafile's military sources report that Israel's military and police are on the highest state of preparedness lest the demonstrators storm out of Palestinian towns on the West Bank and Gaza Strip and rampage against nearby Israeli communities and towns.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis March 7, 2011
Defense Minister Ehud Barak has joined the foreign and domestic chorus pushing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to launch a fresh initiative to end the stalemate in the peace process with the Palestinians. debkafile's analysts advise Netanyahu to hold his horses until the Arab revolt is better defined and the shape of the Palestinian leadership and state emerging from the Middle East turmoil is clearer. Arab protesters are ignoring Israel and, for now, its conflict with the Palestinians is a non-issue.