mass rush on Gazan-Israeli border Monday
Palestinians plan mass rush on Gazan-Israeli border Monday
February 24, 2008, 6:46 PM (GMT+02:00)
Palestinians, swarmed across breached border to Sinai Jan. 23, plan to batter Israeli border Feb. 25
Beefed-up Israeli military and security forces prepared to repulse thousands of Palestinians planning to crash the full length of the Gazan-Israeli border and its crossings at 10:00 a.m. IT Monday, Feb. 25.
DEBKAfile’s military sources report Hamas is engineering a “popular” protest to be much more violent than the Jan. 23 Palestinian surge into Egypt through the border wall smashed by its bulldozers.
Behind the human shield of women, children and elderly leading the assault on Monday, Hamas, Jihad Islami and Fatah are expected to shoot, send in suicide bombers and unleash a Qassam barrage. If Israeli forces are goaded into opening fire, civilian casualties may be heavy enough to draw international condemnation. If they hold back, the Palestinian terrorists will capture the border fence and knock it over.
By preventing a full-scale military operation against the Palestinian missile and terror campaign from Gaza and imposing a siege instead, prime minister Ehud Olmert and defense minister Ehud Barak have left the initiative with Hamas which exploits it to the hilt.
DEBKAfile reports “human chain which will “demonstrate” along the border from the Rafah terminal in the south to Erez in the north is organized by the Committee for Breaking the Israeli Siege headed by Hamas, although the terrorist group’s spokesmen claimed it is a “spontaneous” protest against the Israeli blockade.
Israel’s military and security chiefs are conferring urgently Sunday night with chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi.
The Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem told reporters that non-lethal measures for dispersing crowds are ready to ward off the massive assault on the border fence in an effort to avoid civilian casualties.
After weeks, Egypt finally cracked down on the Palestinian invasion of Sinai when its foreign minister threatened to “break the arms and legs” of infiltrators. Even then, they were defied by the Palestinian invaders.
It looks now as though the long-delayed big confrontation between the IDF and Hamas will not take place inside the Gaza Strip but on Israeli soil.
DEBKAfile's intelligence report exclusively the findings of a special inquiry launched by Hizballah to solve the mystery of who killed the master terrorist Imad Mughniyeh and how.
DEBKAfile's counter-terror sources stress that, above all, Hizballah was keen to clear itself of suspicion that Mughniyeh was betrayed by an insider planted by Mossad, and this report points at Palestinians who are accused of giving him away.
Their investigators claim that the Israeli Mossad tracked him down through the Palestinian operatives with whom he recently rendezvoused in Beirut and Damascus to coordinate a new wave of terror against Israel.
The Palestinians he met did not know his real identity, they claim. He posed as a senior Iranian intelligence officer called Hajj Radwan, who was based inside the Hizballah command.
This information was leaked to the Mossad networks said to be working under cover in Beirut and Damascus, who then tipped Mossad HQ in Tel Aviv. They too did not immediately identify Mughniyeh, say the Hizballah investigators – until a description was built up of his habits and connections. One of these was Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal. The Israeli agents, it is said, then put two and two together and came up with the dangerous terrorist Israel and the US had been hunting for two and a half decades.
Two pieces of information clinched the fix, says the Hizballah report.
One was the type of terror operations he discussed with his Palestinian colleagues: "Hajj Radwan" laid before Palestinian terror planners mass high-quality attacks inside Israel in conjunction with Iran and Hizballah. They talked about scale, targets, funding, weapons and manpower.
No one but Imad Mughniyeh was believed to have the breadth and skill to put together a complex Palestinian operation of this type and its detailed cooperation with Tehran and Beirut.
The other clincher was the fact that the "Iranian officer" turned up for all his meetings without bodyguards. In this Mughniyeh was unique. No other Middle East terror chief moves without bodyguards, but the Lebanese terror mastermind trusted nothing and no one but total secrecy. For the Mossad, his lone wolf habits were a telltale trademark.
The Shiite group's investigators went on to claim that when the Mossad realized that Mughniyeh was within their grasp, they ordered two hit teams waiting in West Europe to set out for Damascus and Beirut.
The Hizballah finds support for its conclusion in the resemblance between the alleged Mossad modus operandi for killing Mughniyeh and the way Ali Hassan Daib in 1999, Ali Hussein Salah in 2003 and Ghalb Alawi in 2004, were killed. All three were Hizballah liaison men who collaborated with Palestinian terror groups on joint attacks against Israel.