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A Digest of DEBKAfile Exclusives in Week Ending May 2, 2014
March 7, 2014
Briefs
Palestinian pipe bomb hits Israeli vehicle - a first
A masked Palestinian terrorist clad in black tossed a pipe bomb at a passing Israeli car near Othniel, south of Hebron Friday night. The blast rocked the car but no one was hurt. DEBKAfile: This was a further escalation of the Palestinian terror campaign - just days after Palestinians fired automatic weapons from a drive-by car at a Jerusalem bus in broad daylight.

Young Israeli man stabbed in Jerusalem
The Palestinian terrorist knifed and injured a Yeshiva student in the Old City Friday. The attacker who fled was caught by the police Mabat 2000 unit which has installed security cameras all over the city.

New Iron Dome version can destroy tunnels
DEBKAfile Exclusive Reprt
Israel has started testing a secret new weapon for defeating the tunnel systems, dubbed the "Underground Iron Dome," Western intelligence sources reported Friday, March 11. It can detect a tunnel from surface vibes, map it and send a moving missile in to blow it up. The Pentagon spokesman said that the US had allocated $40 million for completing in 2016 the establishment of "anti-tunnel capabilities to detect, map and neutralize underground tunnels that threaten the US or Israel." The main part of the development work, he said, would be conducted in Israel in 2016. The US would receive prototypes and access to the test sites and hold the rights to any intellectual property.
The Israeli firms working on the anti-tunnel weapon are Elbit Systems and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, which developed the Iron Dome.
Sign Up NowFebruary 26, 2014
Briefs
Israeli planes in action over Gaza after rocket salvo
The IDF spokesman reported an Israel conducted an air strike against northern Gazan targets Friday night - hours after four rockets fired from the Gaza Strip landed on open ground in the Shear Negev region.

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February 28, 2014
Briefs
Death toll rises to 37 in car bomb blast in central Ankara
A car bomb explosion Sunday at the Guvenpark near the Turkish Education Ministry in central Ankara caused at least 37 fatalities and scores injured. This is the third major suspected Islamic State major blast to hit the Turkish capital since October 2015. 

AQIM claims Ivory Coast beach attack killing 16 after terrorists "neutralized"
Four gunmen were neutralized by Ivory Coast police at the Grand Bassam resort after they fired Kalashnikovs to shoot dead 16 people at three beach hotels popular with Western tourists.
Al Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM) which pledged loyalty to ISIS claimed the attack, which bore a striking resemblance to the ISIS atrocity at the Tunisian beach resort of Soussa on June 26, 2015, when gunmen who came ashore by boat murdered 38 tourists, most of them British.

Israeli paratroops raid Nablus munitions workshops
An IDF paratroop unit two weeks ago knocked down four workshops in the Palestinian town of Nablus that were illegally manufacturing Karl Gustav automatic machine guns. DEBKAfile: The ownership of these and other clandestine Palestinian arms factories was not revealed, or their output hitherto. Another raid turned up 15 of the homemade Karl Gustav rifles at Yaabed, a village near Jenin.

Iraq confirms two ISIS chemical attacks near Kirkuk
A three year old girl was killed and some 600 people injured in two chemical attacks by ISIS in northern Iraq Saturday in the small town of Taza, near Kirkud. The same town as attacked by a barrage of rockets carrying chemicals three days earlier.

Israel calls on world powers to punish Iran for ballistic missiles tests
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says Israel is directing its demand to the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - the countries that signed the deal lifting sanctions on Iran in exchange for Tehran curbing its nuclear program. Iran violated UN resolutions, he said, and the world powers had pledged to prevent such violations.

IDF lockdown on Palestinian village after drive-by shooting
The IDF imposed a full lockdown on the Palestinian village of Beit Ur a-Takhta, from which terrorists came for a drive-by shooting against soldiers manning a Rte 443 checkpoint. Two soldiers were slightly injured in the attack.

Elevated security for Jerusalem Marathon. Alert out for Palestinian car bombs
DEBKAfile Special Report
Extra soldiers, police and other security personnel are to be drafted in to secure the annual Jerusalem marathon next taking place next Friday (March 18). Intelligence authorities are preparing for Palestinian terrorists to use the event for a another surge of violence after hitting three Israeli towns during US Vice President Joe Biden's two-day visit last week. They are on the lookout for drive-by shootings from moving cars or even the first Palestinian car bombings.
An intensive effort is underway to nip in the bud the next shooting and firebomb attacks, by disabling the clandestine Palestinian workshops that are producing weapons for terrorist attacks, especially Karl Gustav automatic machine guns.

Sign Up NowFebruary 28, 2014

Briefs
Two failed early morning Palestinian attacks outside Kiryat Arba
In two attacks within half an hour early Monday, Palestinian terrorists tried to run down commuters outside Kiryat Arba, Hebron. Both failed. In the first, one of two Palestinians stepped out of their car holding a pistol. Soldiers shot him dead before he could use it. They also killed his partner. In their car, they found a Karl Gustav automatic machinegun ready to use. Four soldiers were slightly wounded.
In the second attack, the Palestinian driver was shot before anyone was hurt.

Turkish air force hit Kurdish targets in N. Iraq amid rising Ankara death toll
Nine Turkish air force F-16s and two F-4 jets raided 18 Turkish PKK positions in northern Iraq Sunday night after the death toll from a car bombing attack in central Ankara rose to 37. A senior Turkish official charged that two Kurdish bombers - one of them a woman - were responsible.

Netanyahu condemns Ankara terrorist attack
Binyamin Netanyahu issued a statement Sunday night condemning the Ankara terrorist attack. "Israel expresses solidarity with the Turkish people in the war against terrorism and calls on the international community to unite in the fight against it."

Putin to Assad, Tehran: You want to carry on fighting? Count me out
DEBKAfile Special Report
A deep rift with Tehran over the continuation of the Syrian war and an irreconcilable spat with Syrian ruler Bashar Assad over his future prompted Russian President Vladimir's shock order Monday, March 14, for the "main part" of Russian military forces to quit Syria the next morning - after our "missions were accomplished." This is reported by DEBKAfile's military and intelligence sources. Moscow retains its naval presence in Tartous and air force units at the Hmeymim air base, but is committed to testing the Syrian peace process taking place in Geneva - whereas Iran and Assad insist on keeping on fighting. Putin's move was announced on the day the UN-brokered Geneva talks were scheduled to restart.


March 7, 2014

Briefs
First Russian transports fly out of Syria with equipment 
Tuesday morning, Russian TV showed personnel at Russia's Hmeymim air base in Latakia province loading equipment and boxes on Ilyishin IL-76 heavy transports taking off for Moscow, starting the partial military evacuation announced by President Vladimir Monday night.

Russia to keep its most advanced S-400 air defense systems in Syria
Sergei Ivanov, the Kremlin's chief-of-staff, said Tuesday that the advanced S-400 would stay in Syrian after Russia's partial military pullout "in order to efficiently ensure security, including from the air."

Brussels shooting injures 3 police during anti-terror raid
At least three police officers were wounded Tuesday when an armed suspect return fire during a major anti-terror raid on a Brussels apartment that was linked to the Paris attack. Five suspects got away and police officers blocked off roads in the Belgian capital's southern suburb of Forest.


March 7, 2014
Briefs
Police, IDF raid munitions workshop; weapons and equipment captured 
Israel Police detectives and IDF troops on Wednesday raided a munitions workshop in the town of Sawachra, north of Hebron, and found equipment for manufacturing weapons as well as a rifle, a handgun, ammunition and magazines. Three young men were taken into custody.

Belgian police find machine guns, ammo, ISIS flags in raided apartment
In a police raid of an apartment where several suspected terrorists linked to the Paris attacks were hiding, one gunman, an illegal immigrant of Algerian origin, was killed and two others escaped. Three policemen were wounded in the firefight after which a quantity of weapons and ISIS flags were impounded.

Aftermath of Ankara bombing: Turkish forces make arrests nationwide
Turkish security forces arrested 73 people across the country Wednesday as part of a wide-scale operation against the PKK Kurdish underground accused of the last Ankara atrocity Sunday

Russia to keep S-400 in Syria until Saudi warplanes leave Turkey
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
The highly-advanced S-400 air defense missiles will also eventually be evacuated from Syria, said high-ranking officials in Moscow on Wednesday, March 17, according to an exclusive DEBKAfile report. But their presence for now is crucial in view of the continuing Saudi buildup of warplanes in Turkey, close to the Syrian border. The Saudi deployment in Incirlik now totals 16 warplanes. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Sunday, March 14, condemned "a creeping expansion by Turkey in the sovereign nation of Syria."
Moscow assured Israel it would leave behind in Syria only Pantsir-S1systems, which are easy game for the Israeli air force.


February 28, 2014
Briefs
Female IDF soldier seriously wounded by two Palestinian knifemen 
Two Palestinian terrorists stabbed a female IDF soldier as she got off a bus at Ariel intersection, north of Jerusalem, on Thursday morning. The victim was seriously wounded. The terrorists were shot and killed by IDF troops on the scene.   

Israeli wounded in stabbing at Jerusalem mall, attacker escapes  
An Israeli sustained minor injuries when he was stabbed at a mall in the Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem on Thursday afternoon. The attacker fled.

Six Egyptian policemen killed in three ISIS attacks in Sinai 
In three separate ISIS attacks in northern Sinai Peninsula Thursday, six Egyptian policemen were killed and about 10 were injured by roadside bombs, sniper fire on police positions and mortar fire on a police base. Egypt claims three ISIS gunmen were killed in a shootout with policemen in the town of Sheikh Zuwayed. 

Kurdish TAK organization claims responsibility for Ankara bombing 
The Kurdish organization called TAK, whose members quit the PKK Kurdish underground, claimed responsibility on Thursday for the terrorist attack in Ankara earlier this week in which 37 people were killed and dozens were injured.

Germany closes Ankara embassy, Istanbul consulate over terror threat
The German government temporarily closed its embassy in Ankara and consulate in Istanbul due to terror concern.   

US army chief voices 'grave concerns' over readiness for war 
Gen. Mark Milley, the US army chief of staff, spoke to the Senate Armed Services Committee of his concern about the army's lack of resources, readiness and trained forces for confronting Russia, China, North Korea or Iran. He said the army is not at the required level "in terms of time, cost in terms of casualties or cost in terms of military objectives." At the same hearing, Air Force Secretary Deborah James said 50 percent of the combat forces of the air force is short of 500 pilots and not "sufficiently ready" for a confrontation with the Russian air force, due to deep budget cuts.

Putin to Rivlin: I'll discuss diplomacy, regional security with Netanyahu 
President Vladimir Putin received Israel's Reuven Rivlin at the Kremlin with full honors Wednesday and they discussed bilateral affairs for nearly two hours. Putin said he would discuss security affairs relating to Israel’s northern borders with Syria and the Middle East with Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, whom he had just invited for any early visit during a phone call.

Meir Dagan, ex-head of Mossad, passes away
The former head of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency, Meir Dagan, died early Thursday morning after a long struggle with cancer. He was 71. Dagan was born in 1945 in Russia and immigrated to Israel with his family at the age of five. He served in the elite paratroopers unt and was discharged from the IDF in 1966 with the rank of first lieutenant. One year later, during the Six-Day War, Dagan returned to the military where he later set up the "Rimon" covert operations unit, the first of its kind in the IDF.
In 1970 he suffered leg injuries when his vehicle ran over a mine. In the first Lebanon War, Dagan commanded the 188th tank brigade and later established the South Lebanese Army.
Ten years after he was promoted to IDF major-general, he was appointed Director of the Mossad serving from 2002 to 2010. He is survived by his wife, three children and a number of grandchildren.

March 7, 2014
Briefs
Closely-secured 6th Jerusalem Marathon sets off
The sixth annual International Jerusalem Marathon set off early Friday with more than 30,000 runners, including 2,300 visitors from 64 countries, under heavy security and perfect weather - clear skies and maximum temperature of 15 degrees Celsius. More than 1,000 policemen were drafted to secure the marathoners and direct traffic away from the route. Jerusalem’s center and main streets are closed to traffic until 2 pm. This year's marathon includes seven tracks. The 42-kilometer full marathon, the 21-kilometer half-marathon, as well as races of 10 and 5 kilometers, a "families race" of 1.7 kilometers and a special-needs race of 800 meters.

The US opposes self-ruled Kurdish region in Syria
"We don't support self-ruled, semiautonomous zones inside Syria," said State Department spokesman John Kirby Thursday night, after Kurdish parties established a federal system in areas they control in northern Syria. "Whole, unified, nonsectarian Syria - that's the goal." Turkish has warned against this move.

Russia backs self-ruling Kurdish buffer state at Turkey's back door
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
Just four days after drawing down the bulk of Russian forces in Syria, President Vladimir Putin was quietly redrawing the Syrian map on federal lines, and planting Russian influence in its first semiautonomous region. DEBKAfile's intelligence sources report that his hand was behind the establishment of the Syrian Kurdish federal region on March 17, at a meeting of Kurdish Democratic Union Party leaders in the Syrian town of Rmeilan.

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