TEL AVIV — Attacks against Israel by jihadi organizations and supporters of the Islamic State group are expected to increase, a Palestinian jihadi associated with the Islamic State told Breitbart Jerusalem in response to a rocket attack Monday from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel.
The rocket was fired in the evening at an Israeli town near the border with Gaza. A group affiliated with the Islamic State organization claimed responsibility. The Israeli Air Force responded to the attack by striking Hamas targets in the Strip, as Israel holds Gaza’s Hamas rulers responsible for any rocket attacks launched from the costal enclave.
In response to the incident, Abou Baker Almaqdesi, a jihadi from the Gaza Strip who fought in the ranks of the Islamic State in Syria and Iran and managed to return to the Gaza Strip after being wounded, said that the attacks against Israel are expected to continue.
Citing an attack in Jerusalem in which an Israeli policewoman was stabbed to death, and for which both the Shin Bet and Palestinian organizations rejected the Islamic State group’s claim of responsibility, he stated, “It won’t necessarily be with rocket fire. It could also be attacks like that carried out two weeks ago in Jerusalem, and it could be attacks in the heart of Tel Aviv. The Jews will always be a target for our brothers in the leadership and this will manifest itself soon.”
Almaqdesi claimed, “Israel is directly involved in the war against the Mujahedeen in Sinai alongside the infidel Egyptian army. Israeli intelligence is involved in the war against us by the crusader coalition led by the chief infidels, the United States, in Syria, Iraq, Libya and other places. And as our leaders in the Caliphate promised, all who are involved in the war against the Muslims will pay the price.”
Almaqdesi denied claims that continued rocket fire from the Gaza Strip is intended to drag Hamas and Israel into direct conflict.
“The Mujahedeen do not deal with such considerations,” said Almaqdesi. “It’s true that war between two sides who are the enemies of Islam and the Mujahedeen isn’t a bad thing, but we aren’t pursuing this because those who will suffer from this will be the Muslims living in the Gaza Strip. We are only trying to send a message to all who participate in the war against the Muslims, and Israel is a major partner, that they will pay the price.”
Almaqdesi also revealed that his organization is investing significant effort to recruit Israeli Muslims.
When asked if his organization still maintains its level of recruitment despite losses in Syria and Iraq, Almaqdesi replied, “The media only focus on the withdrawal of our brothers in Syria and Iraq but doesn’t speak about what we’re gaining in the Philippines, Afghanistan, Nigeria and also Libya. So, it will be a surprise when it turns out that we managed to recruit our brothers, and quite a few, from among the Muslims in occupied Palestine. The Jews’ police are publishing all the time that it arrested a cell here and a brother there, and this proves what I’ve been saying. We’ve already proved in the past that we can attack in the heart of Tel Aviv and next to army headquarters.”
Almaqdesi was referring to an attack on the commercial center of Sarona adjacent to Israeli army headquarters in Tel Aviv, known as the Kirya, where the offices of the defense minister and chief of staff are located.
This isn’t the first IS-aligned threat to Israel’s borders.
Speaking on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” in March 2016, Abu al-Ayna al-Ansari, a well-known Gaza Salafist jihadi allied with Islamic State ideology, claimed it was only a matter of time before the Islamic State’s branch in the Egyptian Sinai carries out a “big operation” in the Israeli resort town of Eilat and other parts of southern Israel.
Ansari has since been arrested by Hamas and is currently in prison in Gaza.