The Islamic State militant group (ISIS) claimed a deadly attack in Israel for the first time Friday, after three Palestinian men stabbed and killed an Israeli police officer in Jerusalem.
The attack took place in two adjacent areas near Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City. At one, a Palestinian fatally stabbed policewoman 23-year-old Hadas Malka. A short distance away, two Palestinians opened fire and tried to stab a group of Israeli police officers. Police shot them dead.
“With God’s help, we succeeded in carrying out an attack in the heart of Jerusalem, near the Temple Mount,” ISIS said in a statement on its Amaq news agency. It gave each attacker a nom-de-guerre, with each one holding the last name Al-Maqdisi. Maqdisi is an Arabic term for a Palestinian Jerusalemite.
“Soldiers of the caliphate” struck a “gathering of Jews,” the statement said. The attack “will not be the last,” it added.
The group’s affiliate in Egypt, Sinai Province, claimed responsibility for a rocket fired into southern Israel in April, but it hit a greenhouse and no one was harmed. Friday’s assault is the first ISIS-claimed attack on Israeli soil that has resulted in injuries or deaths. Another Israeli police officer was lightly wounded in the attack, and two Palestinian bystanders were wounded in the shootout that followed the initial assault.
The claim comes in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, in which the jihadi group has called for a surge of attacks. But Israel’s Shin Bet and Palestinian militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and has fought three wars with Israel since 2008, said the attackers were members of Palestinian groups.
SOURCE: JACK MOORE