Barak Plans Attack on Gaza - It's About Damn Time!

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Barak Plans Attack on Gaza - It's About Damn Time!

Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Jun 17, 2007 5:29 pm

June 17, 2007
Israel plans attack on Gaza
Uzi Mahnaimi

ISRAEL’s new defence minister Ehud Barak is planning an attack on Gaza within weeks to crush the Hamas militants who have seized power there.

According to senior Israeli military sources, the plan calls for 20,000 troops to destroy much of Hamas’s military capability in days.

The raid would be triggered by Hamas rocket attacks against Israel or a resumption of suicide bombings.

Barak, who is expected to become defence minister tomorrow, has already demanded detailed plans to deploy two armoured divisions and an infantry division, accompanied by assault drones and F-16 jets, against Hamas.

The Israeli forces would expect to be confronted by about 12,000 Hamas fighters with arms confiscated from the Fatah faction that they defeated in last week’s three-day civil war in Gaza.

Details of the plan emerged as Fatah forces in the West Bank stormed Hamas-run buildings, including the parliament in Ramallah, where they tried to seize the deputy speaker.

Israeli officials believe their forces would face even tougher resistance in Gaza than they encountered during last summer’s war against Hezbollah in south Lebanon.

A source close to Barak said that Israel could not tolerate an aggressive “Hamastan” on its border and an attack seemed unavoidable.

“The question is not if but how and when,” he said. ... 942918.ece
Last edited by Corlyss_D on Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by jbuck919 » Sun Jun 17, 2007 7:31 pm

Oh shoot, I was hoping you meant that Obama was trying to add some spice to the presidential race. A specific idea other than peace on Earth and prosperity for all Americans would be just what the campaign needs right now.

I'm surprised it's taken this long for one of our more political members to post on the Gaza story. I guess Pizza is too busy over there solidifying US-Israeli solidarity for the ages. Am I allowed to be the first to say the obvious, which is that this is a nightmare? Have at it, Israel. Scorched Earth doesn't sound too harsh under the circumstances.

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Post by Alberich » Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:16 pm

Who, pray tell, is Uzi Mahnaimi ?


Post by SaulChanukah » Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:42 pm

Let's hope hamas will be destroyed from the face of the world.

God bless Israel!

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Post by piston » Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:57 pm

But... what's going on with the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA). Last news I read, there was much talk about serious budget cuts, including a dramatic 60% budget cut for the Jerusalem Orchestra. On 14 June, the Jerusalem Post reported that the seventy-year old orchestra was on the verge of "bankruptcy" because its players are so much dependent on the IBA for funding. Can a country have enough money for a superb air force and a long-awaited military offensive on Hamas and yet no funds for a 70-year old orchestra?
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Post by pizza » Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:41 am

piston wrote:But... what's going on with the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA). Last news I read, there was much talk about serious budget cuts, including a dramatic 60% budget cut for the Jerusalem Orchestra. On 14 June, the Jerusalem Post reported that the seventy-year old orchestra was on the verge of "bankruptcy" because its players are so much dependent on the IBA for funding. Can a country have enough money for a superb air force and a long-awaited military offensive on Hamas and yet no funds for a 70-year old orchestra?
Don't hold your breath on either the demise of the JSO or the highly vaunted and publicized coming attack on Gaza. Israel has always solved its money problems when it had to; politics and not money is the real issue in both matters.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:05 am

Alberich wrote:Who, pray tell, is Uzi Mahnaimi ?
I suppose a middle east correspondent for the Times
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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:13 am

Islamist Hamas borrows Taliban’s tactics for its brutal conquest of the Gaza Strip

June 17, 2007, 7:48 PM (GMT+02:00)

Pro-Syrian Palestinian forces are using them in Lebanon.

Al Qaeda is watching and waiting as American positions fold along the Eastern Mediterranean.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly drew some implications for the prospective US military withdrawal from Iraq in its latest issue out last Friday.

DEBKAfile Exclusive: Hamas – and its Syrian and Iranian sponsors - capture priceless Palestinian Authority intelligence archives in Gaza putsch

June 17, 2007, 5:35 PM (GMT+02:00)

The Fatah-led general intelligence and security services caved in too fast to shred, wipe or burn documents, computer disks and archives. The entire collection fell into Hamas’ hands when they seized Palestinian Preventive Intelligence HQ at Tel Awa (henceforth Tel al-Islam) and the Palestinian General Intelligence center near Gaza port.

DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources say: Never before has a bonanza of Western intelligence secrets on this scale ever reached an implacably hostile Islamist terrorist gang. The US, British and Israeli intelligence services may have suffered their greatest debacle in the war on Islamist terror. It will take them many years to recover.

Hamas has taken possession of hundreds of thousands of documents cataloguing the clandestine operations of Western intelligence services in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and the oil emirates. It is now the owner of complete archives of Palestinian undercover links with foreign intelligence services going back decades, with names of spies, political collaborators and double agents. The documentation covers the secret ties Palestinian intelligence maintained from the 1970s, when Yasser Arafat was based in Lebanon, with the Americans, the British, the French, the Israelis and many others.

Most intelligence experts say Israel should have bombed the two buildings and destroyed their contents rather than letting them fall into the hands of an organization and country dedicated to its eclipse.

For Hamas, this booty is priceless – and not only as the repository of bombs for planting under Mahmoud Abbas and his cohorts. The Palestinian group’s Syrian and Iranian sponsors will pay a king’s ransom for this unique collection of explosive secrets hidden by many a Western intelligence agency and government. Damascus and Tehran will be hugely empowered with the means to stay a jump ahead of American moves in the region and tools to sabotage US policies at any time. They will have a store of national secrets and compromising information to hold over the heads of Western leaders and officials, lists of undercover agents, and records of covert operations carried out by the Israeli Mossad, Shin Bet and Military Intelligence, CIA, British MI6 and other Western agencies. Iran, Syria and Hamas will know the names of politicians, including Israelis, who worked secretly with Palestinians and their shady deals.

One intelligence expert said that the Gaza hoard left in enemy hands by Abbas and Mohammed Dahlan are the crown jewels compared with the Saddam Hussein’s intelligence archives.

In the Palestinian security service building, Hamas found computer hard disks covering years of undercover activity and a complete set of sophisticated wiretapping and surveillance equipment and sensors which the CIA and MI6 gave Mahmoud Abbas and his forces. It was all in perfect condition ready to switch on.

After the Nazi regime was defeated at the end of World War II and Eastern Germany fell in the 1990s, there were officials willing to make a desperate effort to destroy or hide their intelligence treasure. Palestinian intelligence officers did not burn a single page.

Moscow Releases Nuclear Fuel for Iran’s Bushehr Reactor

June 12, 2007, 1:12 PM (GMT+02:00)
Iran's Bushehr atomic reactor can start rolling with Russian fuel

Iran's Bushehr atomic reactor can start rolling with Russian fuel

To subscribe to DEBKA-Net-Weekly click HERE .

Russian president Vladimir Putin put teeth in his threats and his cynically helpful alternative suggestions regarding the deployment of US missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly 304 disclosed on June 8 that the week before the G8 opened in Germany, Moscow released the long-withheld nuclear fuel for Iran’s atomic reactor in Bushehr. It was delivered 24 hours before Israel launched its new military imaging satellite Ofeq-7, bringing forward the Iranian threat to Israel, according to DEBKAfile’s military sources. One immediate result has been the stiffening of Tehran’s negative posture, sparking what nuclear watchdog director Mohammed ElBaradei called Monday, June 11, a confrontation that needs to be urgently defused.

As DEBKA-Net-Weekly reported, special nuclear containers were loaded on a train in the yard of the manufacturers JSC Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant on June 2-3. They contained two types of nuclear fuel, WER-440 and WER-1000.

The special train then headed out of Novosibirsk to Astrakhan on the Caspian Sea, 2,000 km away. There, the containers awaited loading aboard a Russian ship destined for Bandar Anzili, the Iranian military port on the Caspian shore. According to our Iranian sources, a fleet of Iranian trucks was waiting at the other end outside Bandar Anzili port to transport the nuclear fuel and drive it slowly and carefully to Bushehr, a distance of 850km, arriving June 10 or 11.

But DEBKAfile’s sources added the journey was interrupted by holdups ordered by the Kremlin in an episode which also laid bare the interdependence of Iran’s nuclear industry and Tehran’s program for arming Syria for war with Israel with the latest Russian munitions.

Arguments over payments due from Tehran have dogged relations with Moscow before and Putin is far from trusting.

A few days before the nuclear fuel left the Siberian factory, Tehran delivered the sum of $327m for a fresh delivery of Russian missiles to Syria. Iran pledged another $438m for further arms consignments before the fuel cargo was allowed to go forward. Putin then ordered the cargo to be loaded at Astrakhan, but await delivery in port until payment was made.

DEBKAfile picks up the story Tuesday, June 12, and reports that Iran duly deposited the money and the ship was permitted to set sail and cross the Caspian Sea to Iran.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly went on to report that Putin never promised Bush that Russia would deny Iran the nuclear fuel for its Bushehr reactor in perpetuity, as some administration circles in Washington have claimed in the last two years. He did assure Washington, mainly in conversations with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, that he would postpone delivery as long as he could, despite Moscow’s contractual commitments to Tehran.

The Bush administration’s plan to deploy missiles in East Europe made the Russian president mad enough to set this assurance aside.

His move hits the US where it hurts most: The UN Security Council meets at the end of June to approve harsher sanctions against Iran for continuing to enrich uranium in defiance of previous resolutions. The Russian fuel delivery will substantially dilute the effect of such penalties, especially when the Islamic Republic is about to clinch a deal for the acquisition of long-range ballistic missiles from North Korea (as DEBKA-Net-Weekly 300 revealed on May 11).

Putin developed a complex and well thought out retaliation strategy for America’s missile deployment in East Europe.

1. A second consignment of nuclear fuel went out to India from the same Russian factory which supplied Bushehr. This was a swipe by Putin at US-Indian nuclear cooperation which it is also under attack in the US Congress. It was also meant to place Moscow at dead center of the Russian-American-Israeli contest over domination of the Indian arms market. This contest also pertains to the developing military ties between New Delhi and Tehran, which Moscow is working hard to turn to its benefit. The Kremliln has not said the last word on this contest.

2. Monday, June 4, the Russian president sent the director of the Russian Nuclear Energy Commission, Sergei Kirienko, to the Russian Interfax news agency with an announcement: “I have just visited the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant; fuel for Iran and India is ready,” he said. “It will be delivered six months before the physical launch.”

This statement has granted the Russian president six months’ leeway for jumping whichever way he finds expedient.

It is time enough for Moscow and Washington to reach terms on the Iran issue as well as the East Europe missile deployments. If the Bush administration digs its heels in on the missile defense shield, Russian engineers employed at Bushehr will be told to go ahead and activate the reactor even before December 2007. But if Washington relents, Russian personnel can always be told to go back to dragging their feet, as Moscow did on the nuclear fuel.

Recapture of the Philadelphi Route Is Proposed to stop the Hamas Horror Show from Moving forward

June 17, 2007, 1:04 PM (GMT+02:00)
Will Israeli tanks roll into Gaza and cut off the spreading Hamas threat?

Will Israeli tanks roll into Gaza and cut off the spreading Hamas threat?

More and more Israeli commentators are frankly admitting that Israel’s pull-out from Gaza in the summer of 2005 was an open invitation to the forces of radical Islam to set up house in the defenseless territory. Now, Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, foreign minister Tzipi Livni and the rest of their Kadima party who presided over that withdrawal are building new castles in the sky to vindicate that error.

Hamas has not triumphed, they say, but offered Israel the chance of a fresh start to separate Gaza, a mere “terrorist entity,” from the West Bank. There, a Hamas-free regime led by Abbas is a fit partner for peace diplomacy.

With this fallacious thesis, Olmert is on his way to a three-day visit to the United States including talks with President George W. Bush as the White House Tuesday, June 17.

It was this thinking that led him to heed the advice, which DEBKAfile’s military sources report came from chief of staff Lt. Gen Gaby Ashkenazi - and was opposed by the OC Southern Command Brig. Gen Yoav Galant - to refrain from interfering in the Hamas takeover. His predecessor, Dan Halutz, likewise played down the Hizballah threat from Lebanon until it was too late.

Rather than getting to grips with the Gaza crisis, Olmert shored up his cabinet and political strength by designating the newly-elected Labor leader Ehud Barak defense minister to mind the store in his absence. The onus is now on the new minister, a former prime minister, to come up with an ingenious remedy for restoring Israel’s security initiative and deterrence, however belatedly.

A former Israeli national security adviser Gen (ret.) Giora Eiland argues now that the influx of tons of smuggled weapons and explosives into Gaza Strip must be halted at any price. There is a real danger of Hamas importing reinforcements from Syria and Lebanon for its next offensive. Egypt will, as usual, stand aside.

Eiland was the only defense official at the time to oppose disengagement as a recipe for bringing Iran and al Qaeda to Israel’s borders. Having been proved correct, he now proposes to limit the damage by recapturing the Philadelphi route and the southern outskirts of Palestinian Rafah, flatten the houses there and evict 15,000-20,000 people.

Gaza must be cut off from Israel to block Hamas and its Iranian and Syrian sponsors’ path to a second victory on the West Bank.

The cutoff would apply to humanitarian aid. Let the Arab world deal this time with Gaza’s distress and pump aid to the Rafah crossing via Egypt.

Eiland allows for an international outcry, argues Israel is left with no choice at this late date but to break some eggs. This option would give Israel the chance to start combating Hamas at a point from which the IDF enjoys a position of strength. The Philadelphi route offers that point.

Olmert is meanwhile pursuing other plans.

One is for an international force to police Gaza’s Philadelphi border route with. Egypt must play its part by halting arms smuggling. This is a non-starter. No sane government would expose its soldiers to the unbridled violence in the Gaza Strip, even if Hamas agreed. And Egypt has never lifted a finger to stop arms smuggling through Sinai and is not about to change its spots.

Still, Olmert will discuss this and other knee-jerk remedies with President Bush, including the tightening of the financial squeeze by Western powers and Arab governments on Hamas and placing Gaza under siege. Olmert can expect a sympathetic hearing from a president who is grappling with his own reverses in Iraq and now in Lebanon. He will no doubt follow Washington’s lead in releasing frozen funds withheld from the Hamas-led Palestinian government in the past to Abbas and his No. 2, Mohammed Dahlan, who made sure of arriving in Ramallah only after the Gaza debacle was over.

But that does not mean the makeshift strategy Olmert & Co. have cooked up can be made to work any better than their previous, largely passive, policies.

DEBKAfile’s Middle East analysts point to six fallacies in their thinking:

1. Hamas is not short of cash. The people of Gaza are in deep distress because that cash is not spent on feeding them or creating jobs but on the tools of war for Hamas’ Executive Force. The Islamist group is subsidized by Iran, Damascus and other Arab and Muslim states. Suitcases full of banknotes pass through the Rafah crossing. The Islamist lords of Gaza will no more be starved into submission than Iran is cowed by sanctions to give up its nuclear ambitions (another item on Olmert’s White House agenda).

Hamas’ masked gunmen can be seen every day smartly outfitted in clean black uniforms, brandishing new weapons with no shortage of ammunition and carrying personal gear in top condition. These sinister fighters are professional and disciplined. None look underfed.

2. Pouring US and Israeli hopes and investments into the Abbas-Dahlan outfit ended in disaster in Gaza. The Fatah-forces built and trained under the supervision of an American general were utterly humiliated in Gaza. Any hope of their coming up to scratch in a second round on the West Bank, which is bound to follow, is a pipe dream.

3. Not only Iran and Syria, but six Arab governments, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, refuse to cut their ties with the Hamas regime or hold back funds. So forget about an Arab boycott of Hamas. Forget also about a siege; it never works.

For Abbas, the unkindest cut of all was Qatar’s announcement at the Arab League foreign ministers’ meeting in Cairo Friday, that it would not recognize the emergency government Mahmoud Abbas is installing in Ramallah with Salim Fayyad at its head. Abbas’ main base of residence and personal business is located in Doha.

The Arab League’s resolution carried Friday contained another painful barb: The Palestinians were called on to respect the legitimacy of Abbas’ leadership but also of the Legislative Council where Hamas holds a majority. This cut the ground from under Abbas’ emergency administration. To gain legitimacy and Arab recognition, Ismail Haniyeh’s Gaza government needs only to wield its majority in the Legislative Council.

4. The premise that Fatah forces are strong on the West Bank compared with their weakness in Gaza is another illusion floated to corroborate Olmert’s reading of the Palestinian crisis. After losing the Gaza Strip, masked Fatah gunmen seized several hundred Hamas officials and stormed Hamas-controlled parliament, government and local council premises across the West Bank. But they do not have the popular leverage for purging Hamas’ influence in the key West Bank towns of Greater Nablus, Tulkarm, Qaiqilya, Ramallah, Hebron and East Jerusalem. There, Hamas is not only popular, but works hand in glove with radical factions of Abbas’ own Fatah al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, who like Hamas are in the pay of Iran, Syria and Hizballah.

One Israeli parliamentarian said Abbas had been reduced to being “mayor of Ramallah.”

5. Neither Hamas nor its generous sponsors in Tehran and Damascus intend to stop at the Gazan border. When the moment is opportune, they will go for the West Bank too and unite both under fundamentalist Islamic rule which will then be armed for its next target, Israel.

6. Mahmoud Abbas faces criticism in his own party for spurning hardline Hamas politburo leader Khaled Meshaal’s overtures. The influential terrorist lifer, Marwan Barghouti, and the former Preventive Intelligence chief, Jibril Rajoub, urge him to reach an understanding with Hamas leaders in Gaza and Damascus.

Abbas was never one for a clear course of action and is therefore unpredictable. But both he and his Hamas rival Meshaal seem to be saying in the last 24 hours that a straight divorce of the Gaza Strip from the West Bank is undesirable. Therefore some give and take is on the cards.

By the time the Israeli prime minister reaches the White House, therefore, he may have been overtaken by events and the separation of Palestinian territories he hailed as a fresh start may have evaporated as a working hypothesis.
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