DEBKAfile Exclusive Report, 28 Dec. DEBKAfile reports: US and Israeli intelligence analysts have no doubt that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas stands in the way to a negotiated peace accord with Israel, because he is sure he can get more by diplomatic manipulation and anti-Israel propaganda. Yet the Obama administration is planning to hold Binyamin Netanyahu to blame for the impasse by depicting him as a serial denier of peace and political failure – payback for his bid to turn Congress against Obama’s policy of detente with Iran.
Exclusive: Abbas ready to reject the US peace framework DEBKAfile’s exclusive Washington sources disclose that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has given Secretary of State John Kerry to understand that his framework accord with Israel, will be rebuffed by the Palestinian side when it is presented.
Saudi funding for Lebanese army upgrade only for non-US arms
DEBKAfile reports exclusively that Saudi King Abdullah Sunday offered $3 bn for upgrading the Lebanese army’s arsenal provided Beirut did not purchase new arms in America but France or Italy.
Explosion at Volgograd station kills seventeen
The Russian anti terrorism committee said a female suicide bomber from Dagestan blew herself up Sunday at the Volgograd railway station in southern Russia, killing 17 people and wounding dozens. With the Sochi Winter Olympics just six weeks away, President Vladimir Putin has ordered law enforcement agencies to stiffen security against further attacks. No group has taken responsibility for the Volgograd bombing. Last July the Islamist rebel Chechen leader Doku Umarov urged his followers to use "maximum force" to prevent the games from taking place.
Four rockets fired from Lebanon Two rockets from Lebanon exploded on open ground between Metullah and Kiryat Shemona in northeastern Israel early Sunday.There were no casualties or damage. The other two landed on the Lebanese side of the border. Israel returned the fire with 20 rounds of artillery fire.
US and Iran fight al Qaeda together in Iraq
DEBKAfile Exclusive Video
29 Dec. US troops and Iranian Al Qods officers join the Iraqi army in a major anti-al-Qaeda offensive, the biggest the Middle East has seen in six years. Their aim is to foil Al Qaeda’s plan for its first caliphate across the Syrian-Iraqi frontier – but also buttress the pro-Iranian Shiite crescent arching over the region, Vladimir Putin, mindful of the impending Sochi Olympics, watches approvingly – as a suicide bomber blows up the Volgograd railway station, killing 15-18 people and injuring dozens.
Israel releases 26 long-serving Palestinian terrorists Despite the bereaved families’ protest demonstration, the Supreme Court rejected their appeal and the third batch of Palestinian terrorist murders was freed from Israeli jails Monday night, in line with Israel’s commitment for peace talks with the Palestinians. Three were dropped at the crossing to the Gaza Strip, five to their homes in E. Jerusalem, the rest to the West Bank. Some 200 protesters maintained a three-day vigil outside the prime minister’s residence, holding placards, then, Monday, marched to the Western Wall and E. Jerusalem.
Ya’alon: Better a European boycott than rockets from Ramallah!
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, commenting on international criticism of Israeli settlement, said: "If the choice is between a European boycott and rockets on Israeli cities from Ramallah, Jenin and Nablus, then the European boycott is preferable. Trusting the restoration of 1967 lines to resolve the dispute with the Palestinians is an illusion.
Abbas: No accord without Jordan Valley in Palestinian state Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas conducted a government meeting at Ain al-Baideh in the Jordan Valley to emphasize that there would be no peace accord with Israel unless the valley and E. Jerusalem were included n the new Palestinian state. This followed Israeli ministerial approval of a bill for extending Israeli law to the Jordan Valley, a step also rejected by the Jordanian government.
IDF drills Gaza incursion for wiping out Hamas, Jihad, Salafi forces
At the Tse’elim training base Tuesday, the Israeli Defense Forces’ Gaza Division practiced an invasion of the Gaza Strip to crush the military branches of Hamas, Jihad Islami and the various extremist Salafi groups operating there. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told the troops that Israel faced the menace of rocket fire and terrorist activities above and below ground from Gaza. An IDF operation there must focus on destroying their capabilities and exacting a heavy price for aggression.
3,000-year old Hebrew inscription deciphered
A few characters on a 3,000-year-old earthenware jug, unearthed at the Ophel near Jerusalem’s Temple Mount ny Prof. Eilat Mazar, have stumped archaeologists until now. Prof. Gershon Galil of Haifa University has deciphered it, finding it to be the oldest Hebrew text discovered to date. It attests to the tenth century BCE Jerusalem � apparently in the reign Solomon – having an administration which collected taxes, recruited labor and saw to their needs. The text confirmed the presence of ancient Israelites in Jerusalem in accordance with the Biblical record.
Abbas: No accord until Israel frees all jailed Palestinians
At a welcoming ceremony in Ramallah in honor of the 26 convicted Palestinian terrorist-murderers freed from Israeli prisons Monday night, Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas vowed he would not rest or sign peace with Israel until every last Palestinian was released.
Exclusive: US "framework" calls for 80,000 Israeli West Bank evacuations to the big settlement blocs
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
31 Dec. The State Department spokeswoman said that Secretary John Kerry would discuss with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas a "proposed framework" to serve as "a guideline for addressing all core issues" which would not count as an interim agreement. DEBKAfile reveals the framework’s nine points as first published on Dec. 20, by DEBKA Weekly. One calls for Israel to hand over 92.8pc of West Bank territory for a Palestinian state. Another links Gaza and the West Bank by express train.
Prime Minister undergoes routine colonoscopy In a routine hospital check-up Wednesday, a small poly was removed from Binyamin Netanyahu’s large intestine. His personal physician Dr. Zvi Harman Berkovitch said the prime minister’s recent tests were in order. Saturday, he was admitted briefly to hospital with a bad cold and painful sinusitis.
Israeli patrol under fire from Gaza. No one hurt
An Israeli patrol came under fire from the Gaza Strip near Kissufim early on New Year’s Day. The soldiers returned the fire.
Israel outlaws European NGO as Hamas front
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has outlawed the Council for European Palestinian Relations, a Belgian non-profit organization which acts as Hamas’s representative in Europe.
Lebanese nab Al Qaeda chief after he signed pact with Syrian counterpart
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
01 Jan. A tip-off by Western intelligence agencies in Syria led to the Lebanese arrest of Majid al-Majid, the Saudi leader of the al Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades. This group has been held responsible for bomb attacks on the Iranian embassy in Beirut and Hizballah strongholds, as well as rocket attacks on northern Israel. DEBKAfile: Al Majid was arrested in Beirut on Dec. 30, on his return from Syria where he signed a cooperation pact providing the Nusra Front with logistical facilities at Abdullah Azzam strongholds in S. Lebanon near the Israeli border.
At least 7 dead in car bombing in Hizballah’s Beirut stronghold Another huge car bomb explosion, which rocked the Hizballah stronghold in Dahya, southern Beirut Thursday, has killed at least seven people and injured dozens.
Egypt implicates Hamas in Mansoura attack
Egyptian Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Thursday accused Hamas of complicity in attack on the Mansoura police station which left 16 dead in the third week of December. There was evidence that Hamas provided the suicide killers with funds, arms and explosives.
John Kerry arrives with proposed US peace framework
Sources in the Israeli prime minister’s office said that US pressure on Israel for concessions was unfair, especially the threat of a European boycott, and disproportionately greater that US demands of the Palestinians. US Secretary of State John Kerry was in Israel again Thursday to pitch his framework accord proposal (first disclosed by DEBKA Weekly on Dec, 20) to Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
Former PM Ariel Sharon in critical condition
Sheba Hospital Director Prof. Zeev Rothstein told reporters Thursday morning former prime minister Ariel Sharon, 85, was in critical condition and his life in imminent danger – although he could not say how close he was to the end. This week his condition deteriorated with multi-system failure. Ariel Sharon has spent eight years in a coma after a crippling stroke.
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