October 20, 2009
Iran is making a huge effort to smuggle to the Palestinian Hamas Fajr-5 ground-to-ground rockets that bring Tel Aviv within range of the Gaza Strip. DEBKAfile's military sources also disclose that Syria, Iran's second ally with an Israeli border, has decided to transfer one-third of its missile stockpile to the Hizballah in Lebanon, topping up its arsenal with medium-range rockets that can cover central as well as northern Israel, which was heavily blitzed in the 2006 war.
Israel's top strategists are studying these massive missile transfers to hostile entities to find answers to a number of key questions:
1. Syria has destined some 250 surface missiles of its stockpile of 800 for Hizballah. Are they Scuds B, C and D whose ranges exceed 800 kilometers, or Iranian-Syrian made projectiles whose range is shorter?
2. Do the transfers mean Iran and its allies are gearing up for a major Middle East conflict in the months ahead, possibly in early 2010?
3. Will Syria hand over to Hizballah some of its chemicals-tipped missiles?
4. Will some batteries be installed atop the mountain ranges running down central Lebanon, together with air defense systems supplied at the same time by Syria?
Israel is particularly concerned by the Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt's recent decision to turn coat against the pro-Western camp led by Saad Hariri in favor of deals with Tehran and Damascus.
Incorporated in these under-the-counter deals are secret military clauses which permit Hizballah to deploy its missiles on highlands of his Druze fief. Israel would think twice at least before attacking areas populated by Druze villages.
In the south, Iran's Revolutionary Guards terrorist arm, the Al Qods Brigades, its bending all its smuggling resources to getting the Fajr-5 missiles into the Gaza Strip, thereby extending Hamas' rocket range to 75 kilometers and central Israel.
According to our intelligence sources, the rockets are traveling by sea from Iran to Hamas training bases in Sudan, dismantled into 8-10 segments , transported to the northern shores of the Gulf of Suez and unloaded in Sinai. From there the segments move through tunnels into the Gaza Strip.
Military sources wonder what the Netanyahu government is doing to halt the missile stranglehold tightening around Israel. Nothing is apparent as yet.
October 19, 2009
Jordan's king said in comments published Monday that the US administration seems to be focusing more of its attention on Iran and less on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying time was running out to make peace.
In an interview with Italian daily La Repubblica, King Abdullah II said the region's hopes for peace were huge at the start of the Obama administration, but now sees the "goal getting farther away."
"I've heard people in Washington talking about Iran, again Iran, always Iran," Abdullah was quoted as saying. "But I insist on, and keep insisting on the Palestinian question: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the most serious threat to the stability of the region and the Mediterranean."Abdullah granted the interview on the eve of a visit to Italy starting Monday.
He said the two sides have a window of opportunity over the next year to make progress on creating a two-state solution, after which point the possibility of a Palestinian state will disappear as more Arab land gets swallowed up by Jewish settlements.
"The window of opportunity will soon close," he was quoted as saying. "By the end of 2010, if Israel doesn't believe in the two-state solution, the possibility of a future Palestinian state will disappear because of geographic reasons: already the land is fragmented into cantons."He urged Washington and the EU to put pressure on Israel to sit down with the Palestinians to negotiate peace, even though he remains suspicious of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and somewhat disillusioned with the US effort to date.
"I'll be sincere; I had expected more, sooner," he said of the US efforts and the seven missions already conducted by the US envoy George Mitchell.Obama began his term in office with a Mideast peace push that included an unequivocal call for Israel to halt settlement activity in the West Bank. Though Netanyahu agreed in principle to the formation of a Palestinian state and said he would limit settlement construction for a limited time, he refused to agree to a full halt.
"I believed in a decisive turn at the beginning of the summer, ahead of a true peace negotiation at the United Nations," he said. "But the question of Israeli settlements - which are illegal according to the international community - remains central."
The White House recently appears to have softened its position, saying it was time for the sides to start talking again even if settlement work continues.
October 18, 2009
The Hamas children's television program, Tomorrow's Pioneers, last week included a part in which children were told it is important to know English, because it is "the language of their enemy."
Following is the transcript provided by Palestinian Media Watch:
Child host: What do you want to be in the future, Allah willing?
Child caller: A teacher of the English language.
Host: Why do you want to be specifically an English teacher?
Child: To teach children the language of their enemy. (Child host smiles.)
Host: Very nice. A great field. It is not enough for us to know our own language... We also want to study the language of our enemies, to know how to have contacts with them, and so that we can convey the message of Palestinian children...
Nassur (the bear-puppet host): Like me! Just like I know the Zionist enemy's language.
Host: Okay, speak (in Hebrew).
Nassur: I can't! (Laughs).
(Al-Aqsa TV, October 16, 2009)
Transcribed by Palestinian Media Watch