Chinese Hackers Stole Plans For Israel’s Iron Dome

China-based hackers stole plans for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system in 2011 and 2012, according to an investigation by a Maryland-based cyber security firm first reported by independent journalist Brian Krebs.

The hackers also stole plans related to other missile interceptors, including the Arrow 3, which was designed by Boeing and other U.S.-based companies.

According to Krebs, “the attacks bore all of the hallmarks of the ‘Comment Crew,’ a prolific and state-sponsored hacking group associated with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and credited with stealing terabytes of data from defense contractors and U.S. corporations.” The hackers gained access to the systems of three Israeli companies working on missile defense. Maryland-based Cyber Engineering Services could prove that 700 documents were stolen in the breach although it’s likely that the actual number is higher. Continue reading

Unilateral Gaza ceasefire collapses. Israeli air strikes resume after dozens of Palestinian rockets in hours

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon ordered the Israeli Air Force to resume strikes over Gaza Tuesday afternoon, six hours after a ceasefire proposed by Egypt, accepted by Israel and rejected by Hamas, was due to go into effect. During those hours, dozens of Hamas rockets raked town after town and village after village. debkafile: The White House called off US Secretary of State John Kerry’s Cairo visit upon finding Tehran’s hand behind the rockets. Netanyahu goes on the air at 8 p.m. to explain what went wrong.

Straight after the ceasefire was due to go into effect Tuesday at 9 a.m., Hamas fired 20 rockets from the Gaza Strip. The Israeli security cabinet had meanwhile endorsed Cairo’s proposal to mediate the conflict with the Palestinian extremists, but warned that if they continued to fire rockets, Israel would hit back with “all possible force.”

In Cairo, Hamas official Mussa Abu Marzuk took responsibility for eight of the post-“truce” rockets, most of which landed on Ashdod, slightly injuring one woman. Iron Dome intercepted four. Continue reading

First Hamas rocket hits Nahariya. All parts of Israel within range from Gaza on Day Six of IDF operation

Nahariya, frequently blasted by Hizballah Katyushas in the past, can now “boast” it was targeted by Hamas as well.

Sunday, Day Six of Operation Defensive Edge, saw another first: an Israeli ground incursion of the Gaza Strip. An sea commando Shayetet 13 unit landed in the western Gaza Strip to raid a cluster of rocket launchers. It was forced to retreat under heavy fire after four commandos were lightly injured. The target was then hit by the unit’s air cover.

By sundown Sunday, 65 Palestinian rockets had been fired into Israel – 12 shot down by Iron Dome – and more were on the way. The last salvo covered a long swathe from Rishon Lezion, through Tel Aviv and its satellite towns, including the big port of Ashdod and Hadera, as well as Israeli locales bordering on Gaza. Continue reading

Israel’s Laser Beam Defense System Can Blow Up Incoming Rockets In Mid Air

Israel has plans to deploy a missile-defense laser called Iron Beam, a high-powered weapon that can heat up incoming short-range missiles until they explode, Israeli media reported over the weekend. Though seldom actually used, laser weapons technology like this has actually been around for years, and is increasingly common throughout the world. Laser missile-defense systems were first developed in the United States, and the American government subsidized the Israeli Iron Beam program, Reuters reported. Continue reading

Report: Israel’s missile defense could not secure country against a missile barrage

TEL AVIV — Israel’s ballistic missile defense concept has been criticized by a leading scientist.

Nathan Faber, a leading scientist at Israel’s Technion, has warned that the nation’s missile tier network was flawed and could not withstand a sustained war. Faber said the tiered-defense concept was insufficient to counter the more than 200,000 missiles and rockets aimed at the Jewish state. Continue reading

IDF deploys sixth Iron Dome battery

Newest missile-defense cannon first to be manned solely by reserves soldiers; six more Iron Domes planned

The newest battery is the first to be operated solely by reserves soldiers and is part of a plan to introduce further reserves “one after another,” according to Col. Zvika Haimovitch, the commander of the IAF’s Aerial Defense Division’s Active Defense Wing. Continue reading

Missile attacks new ‘norm’: U.S. told it now needs Israel’s Iron Dome system

An Israeli missile is launched from the Iron Dome defense missile system in Ashdod, November 18, 2012. /AFP

A leading U.S. institute asserted that Washington must procure Iron Dome
in wake of its interception of hundreds of Palestinian missiles and rockets
fired from the Gaza Strip.

The Lexington Institute said the United States and other Western countries could come under the same missile threat as Israel. Continue reading

Iron Dome for Obama’s Israel landing – in case of al Qaeda, chemical attack

US President  Barack Obama’s first engagement upon landing in Israel on March 20 will be a quick tour of the Iron Dome missile interceptor stationed at Ben Gurion international airport. After a round of handshakes, the officers and men operating the system will explain how it works.

In normal circumstances, personal security arrangements for a US presidential foreign visit are kept under close wraps and rarely visible to the public.

This time, DEBKAfile’s counterterrorism sources report, the visit’s planners made an exception. They decided there was no option but to visibly install an Iron Dome battery inside the airport, because the first battery plus a Patriot interceptor stationed for more than two months north and south of Tel Aviv were not sufficient guarantee of security against rocket attack for President Obama’s arrival. Continue reading

Egypt, Syria are falling apart – an Israeli nightmare unfolds

Israeli Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel warned Tuesday, Jan. 29, that Syria is falling apart and no one knows what the next day may bring: “War may not break out tomorrow,” he said, “but we stand ready for any eventuality.”

If war is not expected tomorrow, why have Israel’s armed forces, including the air force, been on their highest level of preparedness since Friday, Jan. 25? The Syrian crisis may not technically fit the description of a state of war. However, the violent turbulence in that country may at any time spill over the border into hostilities in some shape or form.

If this happens, said the officer, “A decision to attack Syria or Lebanon will need to be implemented immediately.” Continue reading

Missile siren in Jerusalem after Gaza rockets in Tel Aviv area

Two long-range Fajr-5 missiles exploded Friday, Nov. 16 on open ground in and around Tel Aviv without causing casualties or damage. Warning sirens sounded first. Residents told to open bomb shelters. Three civilians were injured in the Eshkol district in the continuous Palestinian rocket fire raking southern towns and villages from early Friday morning. Iron Dome intercepted some missiles before they hit Beersheba, Ashdod and Ashkelon in salvoes. Israeli ground forces continue to build up on the Gaza border awaiting government orders to go in.

debkafile reported earflier Friday: As Hamas government officials greeted Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Kandil on his arrival for a short visit to the Gaza Strip, Friday morning, Nov. 16, Palestinian rocket crews stepped up their barrage against Israel. After Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu acceded to Cairo’s request to suspend military action for the visit, air strikes were resumed over northern Gaza to counter Palestinians fire across the South: Dozens of rockets exploded in Beersheba, Ashdod, Hof Ashkelon, Ashkelon, Shear Hanegev, Ofakim, Sderot, Eshkol and Kiryat Malachi. There were several panic victims and direct hits to houses. Continue reading

Israel fires warning Tamuz missile into Syria as Gaza front escalates

Israel’s deteriorating security situation erupted simultaneously on two fronts Sunday, Nov. 11. The IDF fired a Tamuz precision guided missile against a mortar position 4 kilometers inside Syria after a stray mortar hit the IDF Golan defense post at Tel Hazaka. It was the fourth incident of cross-border violence from the Syrian conflict in 10 days and the first time Israel had fired across the Golan border since the 1973 war. The Tamuz was developed by RAFAEL and is operated from specially modified M-113 Hafiz armored personnel carriers.

At the same time, on the southern front, Palestinians fired Grad missiles from Gaza at the city of Beersheba after loosing a barrage of 60 missiles in less than 24 hours against multiple Israeli civilian locations. Iron Dome intercepted one of the missiles. Continue reading

US, Israel Hold Largest-Ever Joint Military Drill

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — The U.S. and Israel simulated rocket attacks during their largest-ever joint military drill Wednesday, just as as real ones fired from Gaza exploded in southern Israel.

U.S. military officials insisted the joint exercise, called Austere Challenge 2012, was planned long before the latest flare-up between Israel and Hamas-ruled Gaza and a long-running debate over how to deal with Iran, unrelated to specific threats facing Israel. Continue reading

Israel Disaster Drills Prepare Nation For War

Israel is conducting mass casualty drills to train the nation for a national disaster which focuses on responding to an earthquake but which military officials admitted was also a rehearsal for how to respond to war.

Mired in conflict since before its birth in 1948, Israel’s first ever national disaster drill envisages 7,000 dead, 70,000 casualties and 170,000 made homeless as a consequence of an earthquake along the Rift Valley fault. Continue reading

Largest joint US-Israel missile defense drill to kick off

Patriot, Iron Dome, Arrow missile defense shields to be tested; forces to simulate Unmanned Aerial Vehicle intrusion; 1,000 US troops to arrive in Israel, 2,000 more to participate remotely from US, Europe. Continue reading

Israel revives military option after Obama rejects its nuclear demands of Iran

Israel has withdrawn its pledge to US President Barack Obama not to strike Iran’s nuclear sites before the November presidential election after he rejected its minimal demands for nuclear negotiations with Iran. This is reported exclusively by debkafile’s Washington sources.

When Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak met US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the Pentagon on May 17 he was told that Obama had rejected Israel’s toned-down demands for Iran to at least to halt high-grade uranium enrichment, export its stocks of material enriched higher than 3.5 percent grade and shut down production at the Fordo nuclear plant near Qom.

A week of consultations followed the defense minister’s return home, during which it was decided to tear up Israel’s pledge to refrain from attacking Iran during the US presidential campaign. Wednesday, May 23, the day the Baghdad talks began, Barak signaled Washington to this effect.

It was conveyed in a little-noticed early morning radio interview with the defense minister. To make sure his words reached the proper address without misunderstandings, the defense minister’s office issued a verbatim English translation from the Hebrew:

“There is no need to tell us what to do, and we have no reason to panic. Israel is very, very strong, but we do know that the Iranians are accomplished chess players and will try to achieve nuclear capabilities. Our position has not changed. The world must stop Iran from becoming nuclear. All options remain on the table.”

As the Baghdad talks went around in circles, Israel’s military option was put back firmly on the table and on the US-Iranian chessboard.

Full article: Israel revives military option after Obama rejects its nuclear demands of Iran (DEBKAfile)