Netanyahu Warns ISIS Threat Closing in on Northern and Southern Israeli Borders
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday warned that the Islamic State is “facing our borders” in Egypt, as Israel’s southern neighbor was reeling from deadly terror attacks against its security personnel in the Sinai peninsula that killed at least 20 on Wednesday.
“Terrorism is knocking at our borders,” said Netanyahu, following a visit to Hadassah Ein-Kerem Hospital, where he met two men wounded in a drive-by terrorist shooting in the West Bank that killed one Israeli and wounded three others on Tuesday. Both victims were undergoing surgery at the Jerusalem hospital.
“ISIS is not just opposite the Golan Heights,” he said. Recent reports have indicated that militants with links to the Islamic State have taken control of territory just a few miles from Israel’s border with the Syrian Golan.
“At the moment it is also in Egypt, opposite Rafah, facing our borders and we are joined with Egypt and with many other countries in the Middle East and the world in the struggle against the extremist Islamic terrorism that is guided by two elements – Iran and the Shiite extremists, and ISIS and the Sunni extremists, as well as other factions such as Hamas,” said Netanyahu.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility on Wednesday for five simultaneous attacks against Egyptian security personnel in the restive Sinai peninsula, which abuts Israel’s southwestern border and comprises Egypt’s only territory in the Asian continent.
Groups linked to the Islamic State, such as Wilayat Sina, have carried out scores of grisly attacks against Egyptian security forces since the 2013 Egyptian-army’s ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader who was elected in 2012. In April, an attack linked to the group killed 18 Egyptian security forces.
Egypt — which has the largest armed forces in Africa and the Middle East — has said it is working with allied Arab states to create a joint force to combat the Islamic State, whose terrorist activities have spread from its base to Iraq and Syria, recently striking targets in France, Tunisia and Kuwait, among other countries killing dozens.
Late last year, Israeli media uncovered what is said where Islamic State attempts to commandeer an Egyptian military ship and use it to strike Israeli targets.