A Salafi jihadi group based in Sinai and affiliated with al- Qaida claimed
responsibility on Sunday for the border attack which killed an IDF soldier on
The group, Ansar Bait al- Maqdis (Partisans of Jerusalem) said in
an online message that it dispatched three gunmen to carry out the
“As the defense of the honor of the messenger of Allah is one of
our duties and responsibilities, your brothers...
carried their weapons
and became determined to discipline the Jews for their heinous acts,” according
to a translation of the message, made available by the US-based SITE Intelligence
The message was a reference to the anti-Islam video released on
YouTube earlier this month, which has caused unrest across the Muslim
Ansar Bait al-Maqdis also claimed it was behind the firing of two
rockets at Eilat in mid-August. It pledged to carry out another attack, at an
unspecified time, in revenge for what it said was the killing of a group member
in Sinai with the help of Israel.
The group previously claimed responsibility for an attack on a pipeline delivering Egyptian natural
gas to Israel.
Meanwhile, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.- Gen. Benny Gantz toured
the site of Friday’s attack and warned that terrorism from Sinai would continue
to pose a security threat even after the border fence is complete.
Sinai border will continue challenging us. We made a great effort in the past
two years to close the border, and it is closed – but even when it is closed,
the threat does not stop,” Gantz said.
The chief of staff met with the
soldiers from the Artillery Corps and the Caracal infantry battalion who shot
dead the terrorists, and praised their response.
“We are fighters who
protect the borders; there are encounters, and everyone who chose to be a combat
soldier knows things like this can happen.
I think that Netanel
[Yahalomi, who was killed in the attack], of blessed memory, realized this
completely, to the fullest extent.
“Netanel advanced, made contact,
fought and was killed; each of you could have been him,” Gantz
“I am sure that if Netanel were here with us, he would say
that we must continue the mission.”
Gantz also praised the ongoing
security missions carried out by the Caracal Battalion, 60 percent of which is
made up of female combatants.
OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Tal
Russo traveled on Sunday to Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba to
visit a soldier wounded by bomb shrapnel in the incident.
contributed to this report.