Summary of DEBKA Exclusives, March 29, 2013
March 22, 2013 Briefs
• Lebanon’s PM Mikati resigns
Prime Minister Najib Mikati stepped down Friday after the Shiite Hizballah prevented
the creation of a body to supervise parliamentary elections and blocked the extension
of Internal Security Forces chief Ashraf Rifi’s term. DEBKAfile: His resignation
takes Lebanon another step toward the resurgence of civil war as the country is increasingly
polarized between Hizballah and other pro-
March 23, 2013 Briefs:
• US Secretary Kerry briefs Israel leaders on Palestinian issue
US Secretary of State John Kerry held a one-
• Top British court holds first ever closed hearing for Iran case
Britain’s Supreme Court held the first secret session in its history last week to consider evidence about the Iranian Bank Mellat’s alleged links with the country’s nuclear program, which the British government asked to be kept confidential. The court president David Neuberger asked the media, the public and the Iran bank’s lawyers to leave the court for 45 minutes when the government submitted this evidence.
Turkey badly needed to end row with Israel
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
23 March. The Turkish-
The crowing comment by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu -
He knows perfectly well that for the past year, amid a constant stream of ranting abuse from Ankara, Israel has been quietly responding to Turkey’s desperate need for cooperation in such essential fields as military technology and the redirection of its exports from their transit routes through Syria to Israeli ports.
March 24, 2013 Briefs:
• West Bank borders shut from Sunday midnight for Passover Eve
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon has ordered the closure of the West Bank Sunday midnight for 48 hours until Tuesday midnight.
• Gantz’s support for PM’s apology to Turkey criticized
DEBKAfile’s military sources fault Chief of staff Lt. Gen., Benny Gantz for trying Sunday to have it both ways instead of solidly backing his own troops. On the one hand, the general said the prime minister did well to apologize to Turkey for the sake of promoting the revival of strategic ties after three years, while, on the other, he praised as moral and resolute the 2010 Israeli IDF commandos who raided the Turkish flotilla to prevent it violating the Israel blockade on Gaza. Gantz said the elite unit kept casualties down to the minimum – 9 Turkish activists – whereas any other army would have left scores of dead.
• Kerry fails to persuade Iraq’s Maliki to stop Iranian airlift to Assad
US Secretary of State John Kerry, on an unannounced visit to Baghdad Sunday, was
unable to persuade Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-
• Gantz: Syrian gunfire put Israeli soldiers at risk
Israeli troops conducted a surgical strike by a Tamuz missile to destroy the firing position in the Syrian sector of Golan after they were placed in danger by the gunfire from the Syrian sector of Golan Saturday night and Sunday morning, said Chief of Staff Lt. Gen/ Benny Gantz. The incident is a harsh reminder of the explosive situation along our border with Syria. Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said the incident was serious and Israel holds the Syrian regime is responsible for all violations.
• New defense cabinet holds first session
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu heads the defense cabinet’s first session in its new format which has been pared down from 15 to 7 members. An intelligence briefing is on its agenda.
March 25, 2013 Briefs:
• Netanyahu unfreezes transfers to Palestinian Authority
Five months ago, Israel suspended the transfer of allocations from customs duty due to the Palestinian Authority after Mahmoud Abbas’s unilateral application for UN membership as an observer state. They were renewed after US President Barack Obama’s visit last week.
• Mixed Hamas-
Egyptian security forces Monday caught 25 heavily armed men, members of al Qaeda and the Palestinian Hamas, on their way from Sinai to the Delta region of Egypt. In addition to arms and ammo, they were equipped with satellite communications equipment. DEBKAfile: This was the first time Hamas and al Qaeda have been caught collaborating in Sinai for terrorist activities against an Egyptian target.
In El Arish, N. Sinai, Egyptian security police discovered a large cache of arms
and explosives including anti-
Al Qaeda seizes Syrian-
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
25 March. The Al Musanna Brigade of al Qaeda’s Syrian arm, Jabhat al-
Next door, Iraqi Al Qaeda is preparing to push trucks loaded with Chlorine gas-
March 26, 2013 Briefs:
• UN Secy names Swedish scientist to probe Syrian CW allegations
• Palestinian arrested with four explosive devices
A Palestinian was stopped at a Jordan Valley IDF checkpost with four homemade explosives devices. He was detained for questioning and the devices detonated in controlled explosions.
• North Korea again threatens the US
Pyongyang has placed its long-
• Jordan shuts border as Syrian-
The main Jordanian border post was closed for the first time in the two-
• Arab League summit on Syria and Palestinian issue
The Arab rulers meeting in Doha, Qatar will pick a delegation to go to Washington and discuss the with President Barack Obama the terms for their approval of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’s return to negotiations with Israel after stalling the process for two years.
• The Israeli kidnapped in Sinai is set free
Amir Omar Hassan of Nazareth and his Norwegian girlfriend, kidnapped a week ago in Sinai, were released by their Sinai Bedouin captors Tuesday after negotiations with Cairo led to the release of fellow Bedouin jailed on drugs offensives.
March 27, 2013 Briefs:
• Assad appeals to African Summit for help
Syria’s president has sent a desperate appeal to the five-
• Bahrain brands Hizballah a terrorist organization
Parliament in Manama unanimously approved an urgent proposal submitted by 30 MPs for immediate ratification by the Cabinet branding the Lebanese Hizballah a terrorist organization.
• Arab League summit approves $1bn fund for “Arab East Jerusalem”
The summit approves a fund to maintain the Arab and Islamic character of the city versus its “judaisation.” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman: “Objecting to the Judaization of Jerusalem is absurd, like objecting to the Catholic nature of the Vatican or the Islamisation of Mecca.”
The empty Arab leadership chair in Doha
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis
27 March. After patching up the feud between Israel and Turkey, US President Barack
Obama faces a much tougher exercise: brokering ties between Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
To address the looming Syrian chemical arms crisis, President Obama needs a united
March 28, 2013 Briefs:
• Israel beefs up military medical teams on Syrian border
More and more Syrian war wounded are reaching the Golan frontier asking for medical aid in Israel Eleven were recently taken and treated at Israeli hospitals and returned home. One died of his wounds Wednesday.
• Putin orders large-
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the maneuver without prior warning on his
way back from an international summit in South Africa. His spokesman said 36 warships
and an unspecified number of warplanes would take part in Black Sea regional exercise
“to check the readiness and cohesion of the various units.” DEBKA: The maneuver sends
Saudi heavy weapons supply to Syrian rebels breaks up Arab summit in uproar
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
28 March. Syrian rebels in Aleppo have begun receiving their first heavy weapons
This news brought the Arab League summit taking place in Doha, Qatar this week to a clamorous end. The conference proceedings were abruptly halted as Arab delegation members pitched in to separate Saudi and Qatar delegates who came to blows in a side room of the assembly hall.