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Jihad Supporters Debate Islamic State Claim of Responsibility for Deadly Jerusalem Terror Attack

TEL AVIV — On Friday, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the terrorist attacks in Jerusalem that killed an Israeli policewoman and wounded two others, prompting skepticism not only from Israel but also Hamas and jihadist Palestinians on social media.

As IS suffers heavy losses in Syria and Iraq, its own supporters fought back against those who doubted that IS carried out Friday’s attack.

Hamas official and member of the movement’s politburo Izzat Risheq wasn’t pleased that IS was apparently trying to upstage Gaza’s Islamist rulers by boasting of the Jerusalem attack. Risheq wrote, “The three martyr heroes of the attack in Jerusalem have no connection to IS. They are from Hamas and the National Front for the Liberation of Palestine. IS’s claim of responsibility was made up by enemy intelligence trying to scramble the cards.”

Gazan activist Radwan Al Akhras wrote, “By its false claim of responsibility for the attack in Jerusalem, IS appears ridiculous among the Palestinians. It’s known that two of the three heroic martyrs were from the People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the third was from Hamas.”

Iyad, a Twitter user and apparent supporter of IS, addressed the fact that Palestinian factions, particularly Hamas, were quick to deny IS’s claim of responsibility. He wrote, “This is the situation of every faction member and member of the lowly Muslim Brotherhood. They say they must deny (the claim of responsibility), because it turned out that those who carried out the attack were not from among our people.”

IS supporter Abdullah Alqahtani wrote, “They were very happy until the moment the Islamic State claimed responsibility and then they said it’s a show. How can it be a show when Jews were really killed in an attack and it’s known that the blood of the Jews is ‘holy.'”

Another Twitter user and IS supporter addressed the claim that IS members are Israeli and Western intelligence agents, writing, “They say IS doesn’t commit attacks in Israel because they are Israeli agents, and as the Islamic State is appropriate in Jerusalem (the factions) claim that this is in response to the Israeli bombing in Gaza.”

Palestinian journalist Bahaa Milhem, active in London, wrote, “It’s clear that IS’s claim of responsibility for the attack in Jerusalem is a paid advertisement, a sponsored ad.”

Another Twitter user named Omar recalled the Marxist character of the People’s Front and the fact that Che Guevara is one of the organization’s symbols, writing, “Two of the assailants are from the People’s Front. There are now those trying to attribute the attack to IS. As if they wanted to convince us that Guevara swore allegiance to al-Baghdadi!!” a reference to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

IS supporter Yehya wrote, “The speech with which Hamas and the People’s Front tried to take responsibility for the attack is an attempt to revitalize the regimes in Qatar and Iran.”

Friday’s terrorist attack took place near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City and saw three Palestinian terrorists armed with knives and guns open fire and stab those nearby, critically wounding Hadas Malka, 23, a policewoman who died of her wounds. Others were wounded in the assault, and all three terrorists were shot dead by Israeli security forces at the scene.

The Islamic State used its Amaq news agency to claim that “soldiers of the caliphate” attacked a “gathering of Jews.” Hamas rejected the IS claim of responsibility while Israeli officials expressed skepticism over the IS statement.

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