Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman: Islamic State In Sinai ‘Not A Threat’ To Israel

File - In this Tuesday, June 14, 2011 photo, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman talks during a joint press conference with his German counterpart Guido Westerwelle, not seen, in Jerusalem. Israel's Justice Ministry filed an indictment of former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman in a Jerusalem court on Sunday, charging him …
AP/Tara Todras-Whitehill

TEL AVIV – Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday said the Islamic State in the Sinai Peninsula does not pose a “serious threat” to Israel.

Lieberman’s remarks came after two rockets launched from northern Sinai landed in southern Israel Monday morning, hours after the Islamic State group in Sinai accused the Jewish state of killing five of its members in a drone strike on Saturday.

The projectiles did not cause any damage. Lieberman said that while IS in Sinai, know as Wiyalet, is “annoying” and “hindersome,” it does not possess the means to pose a serious threat to Israel’s security like terror groups Hamas or Hezbollah.

“If you are talking about Hamas and Hezbollah then [IS’s Sinai force] is not even a terror group,” he told Army Radio, saying the group was comprised of “random [amateurs] who decided to build themselves an army.”

“We need to see everything in proportion,” he added.

Lieberman did, however, seem to imply that Israel was behind Saturday’s drone strike.

“Like always, the special forces of Lichtenstein probably took out a few terrorists from Daesh in Sinai,” Lieberman joked, using the Arabic name for the Islamic State.

“We do not let anything go without a response,” he said.

The drone strike was an apparent response to four rockets fired by the Islamic State earlier in the month at the resort city of Eilat by the Red Sea. Three of the four were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. The fourth rocket landed in an open field.


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