The UNRWA and The Red Cross (ICRC) had to suspend movements inside Gaza after IDF strikes on UN and ICRC staff, vehicles, and facilities #gaza
Summary. On January 8, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) decided to suspend movements inside Gaza following several security incidents involving IDF strikes on UN and ICRC staff, vehicles, and facilities. UNRWA and ICRC will continue some operations in Gaza that do not require IDF coordination. On January 9, UNRWA Deputy Commissioner General Filippo Grandi told RefCoord that UNRWA will resume movement inside Gaza only with “full guarantees” from the GOI that staff can move safely. ICRC is
Latest WikiLeaks cables reveal Israel’s fears and alliances | World news | The Guardian
Mohammed Tantawi, the head of Egypt’s ruling generals, was an obstacle to Israeli efforts to stop arms smuggling within the Gaza strip, according to Israeli security forces. The assessment was privately delivered to US diplomats, alongside praise for former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman’s efforts to stop weapons trafficking, according to the WikiLeaks embassy cables.
The revelations come in a tranche of the most militarily sensitive cables from the US embassy in Tel Aviv. They have been handed over to Israeli newspapers by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
The Hebrew-language paper Yediot this week announced a deal under which it will print an interview with Assange, who has recently had to defend WikiLeaks from accusations of antisemitism.
The cables show intimate co-operation between US and Israeli intelligence organisations. Israel’s preoccupation with Iranian nuclear ambitions is well known and the US cables detail the battering on the subject that diplomats repeatedly receive from Tel Aviv.
They also shed detailed and sometimes unexpected light on Israel’s military analyses of its other enemies and friends in the region.
Egypt is the primary route for weapons and munitions into the Gaza strip, and the US has been facilitating co-operation between Israel and Egypt to tackle this for several years.
On arms smuggling across the Egyptian border to Hamas in Gaza, Israeli intelligence chiefs described as “supportive” Omar Suleiman, who was Egypt’s intelligence minister, but said defence minister Mohammed Hussein Tantawi was “an obstacle” in a November 2009 cable.
Another cable seen by the Guardian reveals that the King of Bahrain, whose Arab state has recently been shaken by protests, has had friendly links with the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency.
The cables report a private talk between the then US ambassador, William Monroe, and King Hamad of Bahrain in the king’s palace on 15 February 2005. Monroe reported back to Washington: “He [the king] revealed that Bahrain already has contacts with Israel at the intelligence/security level (ie with Mossad) and indicated that Bahrain will be willing to move forward in other areas.”
The cables also shed light on Israel’s assessment of Hezbollah’s mounting capability to strike directly at Tel Aviv with an arsenal of more than 20,000 missiles.
Israeli intelligence chiefs briefed their US counterparts during a regular Joint Political Military Group (JPMG) session on 18 November 2009 about the scale of potential Hezbollah attacks from Lebanon.
Washington was told: “Hezbollah possesses over 20,000 rockets … Hezbollah was preparing for a long conflict with Israel in which it hopes to launch a massive number of rockets at Israel per day. A Mossad official estimated that Hezbollah will try to launch 400-600 rockets and missiles at Israel per day – 100 of which will be aimed at Tel Aviv. He noted that Hezbollah is looking to sustain such launches for at least two months.”
Other cables detail regular secret talks between the US and Yuval Diskin, head of Israel’s internal security agency, Shin Beth, over the role of Hamas in Gaza. On 12 November 2009 the embassy reported the views of the general responsible for Gaza and southern Israel, Major General Yoav Galant, that Hamas needed to be “strong enough to enforce a ceasefire”.
He told the Americans: “Israel’s political leadership has not yet made the necessary policy choices among competing priorities: a short-term priority of wanting Hamas to be strong enough to enforce the de facto ceasefire and prevent the firing of rockets and mortars into Israel; a medium priority of preventing Hamas from consolidating its hold on Gaza; and a longer-term priority of avoiding a return of Israeli control of Gaza and full responsibility for the wellbeing of Gaza’s civilian population.”
Galant was to be made Israel’s chief of defence staff earlier this year but the appointment was cancelled due to scandal.
WikiLeaks: Israel’s secret hotline to the man tipped to replace Mubarak - Telegraph
Mr Suleiman, who is widely tipped to take over from Hosni Mubarak as president, was named as Israel’s preferred candidate for the job after discussions with American officials in 2008.
The details, which emerged in secret files obtained by WikiLeaks and passed to The Daily Telegraph, come after Mr Suleiman began talks with opposition groups on the future for Egypt’s government.
On Saturday, Mr Suleiman won the backing of Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, to lead the “transition” to democracy after two weeks of demonstrations calling for President Mubarak to resign.
David Cameron, the Prime Minister, spoke to Mr Suleiman yesterday and urged him to take “bold and credible steps” to show the world that Egypt is embarking on an “irreversible, urgent and real” transition.
Yeah I’m sure Israel loves a man who is willing to torture Arabs at the drop of a hat.
The Palestine Papers – Al Jazeera’s leaks may shake Palestinians « The Lebanese Inner Circle : Blog
Al Jazeera will unleash in the next 4 days, the largest-ever leak of confidential documents related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
From Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks, to the U.N.’s investigation in Lebanon’s Former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s assassination, leaking documents has become fashionable. In the hope, that some seriousness is taken by the mass to act upon. Wikileaks confirmed what most people knew, giving reason to be alarmed, and yet today looks a lot like yesterday.
The Palestine papers is one of these sites that contain very detailed information among American, Israeli, and the Palestinian Authority’s transcripts that shed light on each and every position’s reputation.
Some Information about these Documents ☞There are 1,684 total documents, including
- 275 sets of meeting minutes;
- 690 internal e-mails;
- 153 reports and studies;
- 134 sets of talking points and prep notes for meetings;
- 64 draft agreements;
- 54 maps, charts and graphs;
- and 51 “non-papers.”
Because courage is contagious. :)
Stuxnet Worm Used Against Iran Was Tested in Israel - NYTimes.com
The Dimona complex in the Negev desert is famous as the heavily guarded heart of Israel’s never-acknowledged nuclear arms program, where neat rows of factories make atomic fuel for the arsenal.
Over the past two years, according to intelligence and military experts familiar with its operations, Dimona has taken on a new, equally secret role — as a critical testing ground in a joint American and Israeli effort to undermine Iran’s efforts to make a bomb of its own.
Behind Dimona’s barbed wire, the experts say, Israel has spun nuclear centrifuges virtually identical to Iran’s at Natanz, where Iranian scientists are struggling to enrich uranium. They say Dimona tested the effectiveness of the Stuxnet computer worm, a destructive program that appears to have wiped out roughly a fifth of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges and helped delay, though not destroy, Tehran’s ability to make its first nuclear arms.
Norway pressed into missile defense : Views and News from Norway
Norway pressed into missile defense
January 5, 2011
The US put heavy pressure on the Norwegian government to go along with a missile defense program and apparently won support before the government made its compliance public. New disclosures from WikiLeaks documents, reported by Oslo newspaper Aftenposten, also reveal Israel’s goal to keep Gaza on the verge of economic collapse.
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg (right) and Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre ultimately went along with a missile shield plan at the NATO summit in Lisbon last fall. PHOTO: Utenriksdepartementet/Frode Overland Andersen
As Aftenposten continues to report on the contents of documents, mostly American diplomatic cables, initially leaked to WikiLeaks, a disturbing picture has emerged indicating how government officials can say one thing publicly but something else behind the scenes. Not just in Washington, but in capitals all over the world including Oslo and Tel Aviv.
In the missile defense issue, for example, Norway’s left-center coalition government opposed it in writing in its policy platform (called Soria Moria I) published just after it first won election in 2005. The new Labour Party-led government at the time was committed to work towards scrapping plans at the time for the controversial missile defense system that the US wanted to set up in Europe. The Socialist Left party (SV) was most vigorously opposed to the missile defense, fearing it would threaten disarmament. None of the government coalition parties sensed any great interest no the part of the public in the missile defense issue, either.
According to one cable sent by the US Embassy in Oslo and reported by Aftenposten, the US then pressured Norwegian officials (external link), both inside and outside the government, to at least “counter Russian misstatements and distinguish Norway’s position from Russia’s to avoid damaging alliance solidarity.” US officials actively met with top politicians, journalists and allied embassies in Oslo to counter what they considered provocative criticism of the missile defense plan by the Russians.
“A shift of the broader public opinion is deemed not immediately likely but influencing political elites is within reach,” wrote former US Ambassador Benson K Whitney. “We believe focus on Russia’s threats to the alliance will resonate with the Norwegians’ general wariness towards their large neighbor.”
Norwegian government officials maintained what the US Embassy called their own “stated” public criticism of the missile defense plan, but Aftenposten reported that as early as 2007, some top government ministers were already privately letting the Americans know that missile defense ultimately wouldn’t be a problem, and by 2008 the Norwegians suggested that a NATO agreement securing missile protection for all member countries could sway the Norwegian government’s position. That’s what eventually was approved at last November’s NATO summit in Lisbon.
Meanwhile, WikiLeaks documents reported by Aftenposten also reveal harsh realities about Israeli policies towards Gaza. Government officials in Tel Aviv claimed their economic blockade of Gaza was based on self-defense, while it actually was aimed at keeping the Palestinian area on the verge of collapse.
As fears rise over a new armed conflict in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, which won the Palestinian elections, Aftenposten reported Wednesday on a US Embassy cable (external link) from October 2008 that claimed that “Israeli officials have confirmed to Embassy officials on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis.” The Israeli government, according to the Americans, wanted “to keep potential sources of security threat off-balance” and minimize any economic or political gains for Hamas.
The US embassy officials “encouraged the GOI (Government of Israel) to review its policy on Gaza liquidity,” and urged the US “to assist the PA (Palestinian Authority) to improve its regulatory regimes and due diligence.” American diplomats admitted, however, that they didn’t expect any Israeli review to “result in any changes.” Two months later, the war in Gaza broke out, and the area is still struggling to recover from Israeli bombing.
WikiLeaks has turned into a torrent : Views and News from Norway
WikiLeaks has turned into a torrent
January 4, 2011
Oslo newspaper Aftenposten continues to churn out stories related to the content of more than 250,000 diplomatic cables that the US had intended to keep secret. Among the topics: Sri Lankan dealings with Iran, alleged French espionage and German-US spy satellites, and Israel’s plans for war.
Here follows a summary of revelations emerging recently from the WikiLeaks documents to which Aftenposten has gained access:
French officials have been accused in American diplomatic cables of being behind more industrial espionage in Europe than both the Russians and the Chinese. In Norway, special police intelligence unit PST has warned that foreign firms are constantly on the lookout for valuable information about Norwegian products.
Among the notes written by the US ambassador in Berlin, the French were referred to as “the evil empire” when it comes to trying to steal technology, “and Germany knows it,” according to the director of a large German firm.
German intelligence agents are developing new secret spy satellites in cooperation with the US, according to reports from the US Embassy in Berlin. The satellites were being disguised as part of an environmental measure to help reverse climate change, but WikiLeaks documents reveal that they are capable of surveillance all over the globe, also underground.
German officials later denied the so-called HiROS (High Resolution Optical System) satellites were part of any military program and called reports they would be used for spying “humbug.”
Sri Lanka, during the final stages of its war against the Tamil Tigers (LTTE), was reportedly in negotiations to buy rocket launchers and other military equipment from both Iran and North Korea. US officials threatened Sri Lanka with costly sanctions if the weapons deals were carried out. Any purchases would have been in violation of UN resolutions against trade with either country.
Sri Lankan officials denied they were in the process of illegal weapon purchases, but the US ambassador in Colombo wasn’t convinced. There was no comment on any deals with North Korea.
Top Israeli military officials told a US Congressional delegation in November 2009 that Iran has 300 Shihab missiles that can reach Israel, and that the missile threat was more serious than ever before. Israel would have approximately 12 minutes to respond to an attack, and war would be underway.
The threat, revealed in WikiLeaks documents, explains why Israel puts such importance on missile defense. The documents also reveal that Israel is in the midst of full preparations for another war in the Middle East.
General Link Dump
Here are links to stories that I’ve found from the past week while I was away, which you may have already seen but here they are just in case.
And Leakspin in now Crowdleak.org with an impressive new website.
Have I missed anything?
Nuclear War Threat In Iran & Middle East: WikiLeaks Exclusive
AUSTRALIAN intelligence agencies fear that Israel may launch military strikes against Iran and Tehran’s pursuit of nuclear capabilities could draw the US and Australia into a potential nuclear war in the Middle East.
Australia’s peak intelligence agency has also privately undercut the hardline stance towards Tehran of the US, Israeli and Australian governments, saying its nuclear program is intended to deter attack and it is a mistake to regard Iran as a rogue state.
Cablegate Link Dump #2
- SUBJECT: ISRAEL, A PROMISED LAND FOR ORGANISED CRIME?
- WikiLeaks disclosures reveal U.S. frustration with Russian corruption - CNN.com
with video of the Larry King interview with Putin.
- The Hindu Business Line : WikiLeaks memo stirs up central bank controversy in UK
- WikiLeaks cables: UK on constant alert to Russian espionage | World news | guardian.co.uk
- WikiLeaks US embassy cables: live updates | News | guardian.co.uk
- US embassy cables: Foreign Office says Miliband’s concern for Sri Lanka humanitarian crisis driven by UK electoral calculations | World news | guardian.co.uk
- wikileaks.org on reddit.com - People are posting links to what they have found in the Cables for discussion on reddit. Some interesting finds.
- 2010-12-02: WikiLeaks and the US Espionage Act: legal opinions | WL Central