Islamic State Urges Attacks Against Jews, Effort to Thwart Trump Plan

ISIS fighters in its Sinai branch in Egypt as well those in Syria are urged to mount cross-border raids to attack Israeli targets

Reuters
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A fighter of the Christian Syriac militia under the banner of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, burns an ISIS flag, northeast Syria, July 17, 2017.
A fighter of the Christian Syriac militia under the banner of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, burns an ISIS flag, northeast Syria, July 17, 2017.Credit: Hussein Malla/AP
Reuters

The Islamic State militant group urged its fighters and other Muslims to attack Jews in a purported audio recording released on Monday in an attempt to thwart U.S. President Donald Trump's Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

The message was said to feature the voice of ISIS spokesman Abu Hamzah al-Quraishi but Reuters could not verify the speaker's identity.

Islamic State has not been a player in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But the comments appeared to be an attempt by the group to stay relevant and resonante with Muslims by sounding concerned about the issue, said H.A. Hellyer of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

"We are urging you to join the Caliphate (Islamic State) soldiers who are seeking to remove borders and dams that prevent them from fighting Jews," Quraishi said.

He especially called on ISIS fighters in its Sinai branch in Egypt as well those in Syria to mount cross-border raids to attack Israeli targets.

"Be the spearhead in fighting Jews and making their plots fail like their 'Deal of the Century'," he said.

Trump is due to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz in Washington on Monday to present his peace plan, which Palestinians fear will dash their hopes for an independent state.

The Sunni Muslim IS has struggled to regroup and develop a new strategy since the killing of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by U.S. forces in October. It lost its last significant piece of territory in Syria last year after already being defeated in Iraq.

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