AN ISIS member rides on a rocket launcher in Raqqa in Syria two months ago.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Islamic State on Wednesday released images of the Katyusha rockets fired by its Egyptian affiliate, Sinai Province, after claiming responsibility the previous night for the projectiles, which struck southern Israel.
The images showed a terrorist preparing two rockets before launching them from the Sinai Peninsula on Monday morning. They hit open areas in the Eshkol region causing no injuries or damage.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, on Monday, called the jihadist group on Israel’s southern border “annoying” and “hindersome,” dismissing the threat it poses.
Speaking to Army Radio he described the group as a bunch of “random [amateurs] who have decided to build themselves an army,” adding, “if you are talking about Hamas and Hezbollah, [Islamic State’s Sinai force] is not even a terrorist group.”
“We need to see everything in proportion,” he said.
Monday’s rocket attack came the day after Islamic State-linked media claimed that an unmanned Israeli drone had bombed and killed five members of ISIS in Egypt in the northern Sinai.
According to the Islamic State-linked Amaq agency, the five “fell as martyrs to the Jewish enemy” in a strike that targeted a car carrying the fighters in the village of Shibana, located south of the town of Rafah, in northern Sinai near the Egypt-Israel border.
The IDF has not commented on the claim, but Israel is reported to have carried out drone strikes “with Egypt’s knowledge and blessing” against fighters in the peninsula.
Israel, which has a 240-kilometer border with Sinai, has not officially retaliated against the rockets. Jerusalem and Cairo have been closely cooperating in the peninsula in the fight against ISIS fighters since Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi rise to power.
ISIS video threatens Israel in January 2016
Liberman seemingly confirmed the strike against the car, telling Army Radio that “as always, the special forces of Lichtenstein probably took out a few terrorists from Daesh in Sinai,” using the Arabic name for the Islamic State.
“We do not let anything go without a response,” he added.
Earlier this month ISIS claimed responsibility for a rocket barrage fired from Sinai toward the Eilat. The Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted three projectiles, while a fourth landed in open territory. There were no casualties but at least four people were treated for anxiety.
The group said that attack was carried out “to teach the Jews and Crusaders that a proxy war will not avail them of anything,” and threatened future “calamitous” attacks. No photos of those rockets were released.