US withdrawal from Europe-based missile shield will impact Israel’s defense

On March 20, President Barack Obama arrives in Israel for the first foreign trip of his second term. The purpose of his visit is plain, except to Netanyahu’s domestic rivals: Facing a 50 percent cutback in military spending, the Obama administration cannot credibly threaten to go to war against a recalcitrant Iran. But the US president may still wave the Israeli military option in Tehran’s face.Not that the ayatollahs are likely to be impressed. Khamenei and Ahmadinejad have both dismissed talks with Washington “with a gun” at their head, meaning that they are not scared of the Israeli gun the Americans are putting to their heads.

In fact, the Islamic rulers of Tehran are reported by debkafile’s intelligence and Iranian sources to be fully confident that they are home and dry as a nuclear power after a secret US Pentagon research study was leaked that “casts doubt on whether the multibillion-dollar missile defense system planned for Europe” (originally by the Bush administration) “can ever protect the US from Iranian missiles as intended.” 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

Spreading Iranian cyber attacks hit Israeli military, US financial and Gulf oil targets

Also on Thursday, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta unveiled his “pre-9/11 moment” speech which revealed that for two weeks, hackers had been hammering the websites of big American banks, the Saudi national oil company Aramco and Qatar’s Rasgas.In a strong comment, he said the US would strike back and consider a preemptive strike against cyber terrorism, without saying how or actually naming Iran.

However in leaks to the American media, former U.S. government officials and cyber-security experts reported that the administration believes Iranian-based hackers were responsible for what Panetta warned could be the first “cyber Pearl Harbor” against America. Continue reading

Iranian leaders in Israel’s sights after calling for its destruction

This could also be considered a sign with the ongoing turmoil in Syria. Once the  highest ranking leaders start defecting or get picked off, Assad could decide to descend the entire Middle East into chaos.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was cheered by half a million demonstrators in Tehran shouting: Death to Israel! Death to America! when he declared Israel is a “cancerous tumor” that will soon be finished off in the new Middle East. He called “the Zionist regime’s existence an insult to all humanity.”

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said:  “The fake Zionist (regime) will disappear from the landscape of geography,”

And although both were severely rebuked by world leaders for their violent invective, it continued to pour out of Tehran in a comment by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force Chief, Brig. Gen. Amir Hajizadeh who said an Israeli attack would be welcome “as a pretext to get rid of Israel for good.”

Israel’s new Home Defense Minister Avi Dichter laid it out in plain language: While Syria, Lebanon and Gaza confront Israel with a strategic threat, Iran imperils our very existence.

Certain Western intelligence sources were reminded of a speech by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in 2006 when he quoted a Holocaust survivor as saying:  “My main lesson from the Holocaust is that if someone tells you he is going to exterminate you, believe him. And I add to that. Believe him and stop him!”

Six years later, those sources now suggest, after America’s top soldier Gen. Martin Dempsey offered the opinion that Israel can no longer destroy Iran’s nuclear weapon capacity – only delay it , that Netanyahu may be willing to go further: Not only to stop them, but kill them.

They are quietly using the term “decapitation.”

They point to the Israeli Mossad’s long record of targeted covert operations for dealing with past and would-be annihilators: In the fifties, the Mossad captured the Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann in Operational Finale.

In the seventies, Golda Meir ordered Operation Wrath of God to hunt down and pick off one by one the Palestinian Black September murderers of 11 Israeli sportsmen at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

In February 2008, Iran’s senior terrorist operations commander, Hizballah’s Imad Mughniyeh, was liquidated in Damascus, so ending a bloody career of assassinations, terrorism and abductions against US and other Western targets as well as Israel.

Hizballah’s chief Hassan Nasrallah knows the score: He has spent six years hunkered down in a fortified bunker, taking care never to  broadcast his inflammatory speeches calling for Israel’s destruction live, only by video.

It cannot be ruled out that this point, Israel may decide to disable Iran’s nuclear program by going for its leaders.

Full article: Iranian leaders in Israel’s sights after calling for its destruction (DEBKAfile)

Israel Advised to Brace for Syrian Missile Attack

As previously discussed what could happen:

As the already unthinkable pace of slaughter in Syria accelerates further, Western military sources warned Saturday, July 14, that not only Israel, but additional strategic targets in Middle East lands deemed enemies by Bashar Assad should prepare for him to launch surface-to-surface missile attacks. The assaults would start out with conventional warheads, but as the regime continued to be hammered, the beleaguered ruler might well arm the next round of missiles from his huge stockpile of mustard gas – not to mention sarin nerve poison and cyanide.

Western intelligence sources say Assad has a list of targets ready to go. Analyzing the Syrian war game taking place last week, they calculated that Wednesday and Thursday, July 11 and 12, the Syrian army practiced shooting missiles at strategic centers in Israel, Turkey and Jordan.

That is one game-changing predicament facing the West. It would quickly assume a regional dimension if Turkey, Israel and Jordan were to come under Syrian missile assault. Air and missile reprisals against Syrian military or regime centers would carry the danger of Hizballah retaliation from Lebanon leading to direct attacks from Iran. Before going down that road, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan – who are not on speaking terms – would certainly confer with US President Barack Obama.

Full article: Israel Advised to Brace for Syrian Missile Attack  (Virtual Jerusalem)