The recent wave of terror attacks perpetrated by Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem appears to be influenced by the Islamic State and its vitriolic religious hatred, said Haaretz military analyst Amos Harel.
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For the first time ever, recent attacks – including Tuesday's terror attack at a Jerusalem synagogue that left five people dead – are inspired more by religious motives than nationalist ones, Harel told Haaretz's Aimee Amiga, in an interview Wednesday.
He said that there are two major reasons for the current wave of terrorism, which includes two attacks on Jerusalem light rail stations which left four dead, the attempted assassination of right-wing activist Yehuda Glick, the stabbing death of a soldier in Tel Aviv and the synagogue attack.
The first reason is the conflict surrounding the Temple Mount, and the "Palestinian suspicions that Israel is trying to unilaterally change the status quo regarding the Temple Mount."
The second reason is the increasing influence of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, on Palestinian youths in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. There are no members of the Islamic State in those areas, said Harel, "but those young Palestinians are influenced by what they see in those videotapes of executions that are on YouTube every day, and that very religious aspect of that hatred and the terrible atrocities going on all over the Arab world.
"I think that this influence is finally arriving here in places like East Jerusalem," Harel continued. "When you see the images being used, when you see the way they chose a synagogue as their target for attack, it has something to do at least with the effect of Daesh [the Arabic acronym for Islamic State]."
Harel and Amiga also discussed whether Israeli Arabs are likely to join this "holy war" and what Israel must do to prevent a further escalation in violence.
Watch the full interview here: