Islamic State-affiliated Sinai Province fighters in the Sinai Peninsula.
(photo credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/ARAB MEDIA)
Several ISIS fighters were killed in Israeli airstrikes on the organization's positions in the Egyptian town of Sheikh Zuweid in North Sinai on Monday night, ISIS-linked Amaq News Agency reported on Tuesday.
According to the reports, two Israeli Apache helicopters, accompanied by two drones, infiltrated Egyptian airspace at around 11 p.m. on Monday and bombed ISIS positions in the southern part of the Egyptian town.
The ISIS-linked news agency’s reports contradict Egyptian media's reports, according to which the Egyptian military launched the airstrike against ISIS positions.
Col. Yehuda Hacohen, the commander of the IDF’s Sagi Brigade, operating on the Egyptian border, told Army Radio in September that it is only a matter of time before Islamic State’s affiliate in Sinai attempts to carry out a terrorist attack against Israel.
The organization formerly known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis pledged allegiance to Islamic State last year, changing its name to Sinai Province. It has waged a war against Egyptian security forces in the Sinai Peninsula, which, according to Hacohen, has so far contributed to its decision not to attack Israel.
“Their decision not to launch terrorist attacks against Israel is a rational decision...they are focusing today on fighting against Egypt. They are in a state of constant friction with the Egyptian forces. They prefer not to open up another front, certainly not a front with Israel. They know that the price they would have to pay there would be heavy,” Hacohen said.
In January 2014, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, before pledging allegiance to ISIS, took credit for a rocket attack on the southern Israeli resort town of Eilat.