ISIS fires rockets at Israel from Sinai; Egypt intensifies war on terror groups

This latest incident comes as Egyptian troops have been battling ISIS terrorists since their massive attack on several Egyptian military positions in the Sinai last week.

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Egypt army gaza

Egyptian soldiers on the border with Gaza. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Terrorists based in the Sinai Peninsula affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS) fired three rockets at Israel on Friday afternoon. Only one rocket hit Israeli territory, and it landed in an open area, causing no injuries or damage.

The terror organization took responsibility for the attack and said it had fired three Grad rockets at Israel. In a statement posted on its Twitter account, the group, which calls itself the ISIS group’s Sinai Province, said it fired the rockets because Israel was supporting the Egyptian regime. It also claimed that Israeli aircraft had joined Egyptian warplanes in bombing its fighters.

This latest incident comes as Egyptian troops have been battling ISIS terrorists since their massive attack on several Egyptian military positions in the Sinai on Wednesday.

This escalation is worrying Israel, and the IDF has stepped up its preparedness and bolstered its forces along its border with Egypt.

Israel also revealed that the Hamas terror organization, which rules Gaza, is helping ISIS to operate in the Sinai against Egypt’s sovereignty.

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ISIS fails to establish a state in the Sinai

The Egyptian military continued with its campaign against ISIS over the weekend, and there are reports of scores of terrorists killed in the air raids. Egyptian media reported on Friday that no less than 70 terrorists were killed in northern Sinai by Egyptian security forces after the massive attack on Wednesday and Thursday.

In combat operations late Friday, the Egyptian army said Apache attack helicopters fired missiles at groups of terrorists, killing 10 of them.

President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, wearing battle dress for the first time in over a year, said Saturday that Egypt had foiled an attempt by ISIS to seize territory and set up an Islamic state with its recent assault on the military in the troubled northeastern part of the Sinai Peninsula.

Wearing combat fatigues that he thought he had hung up for good when he ran for president, the  general-turned-politician met members of the army and delivered a televised speech to troops in Sinai, his first public comments on Wednesday’s unprecedented attack.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi. (Egyptian Presidency /Mohammed Abdel-Muati via AP)

The group had tried to announce “an Islamic state, in their concept, an Islamic State in Sinai,” al-Sissi said. “These are the messages, very simply, that they are putting out to us,” adding that the area was now under control.

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Al-Sissi praised the troops for “foiling a very big plan.”

“No one can impose on the Egyptians something they don’t want,” he said. “To reach the Egyptians they have to pass through the army, the sons of Egypt.”

Wednesday’s heavy attacks came during a week of bloodletting that saw Egypt’s prosecutor-general assassinated outside his Cairo home by a massive car bomb and a special forces raid on an apartment that killed nine members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood responded by calling for a “rebellion,” raising the prospect of a further uptick in violence.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry blamed all the past week’s violence on the Hamas-linked Brotherhood, which it said was not only the main source of Islamic extremism, but also coordinated operations on the ground.

“All of these attacks were conducted days apart and showed a level of sophistication and coordination that affirms the presence of organized terrorist activity perpetrated by the Muslim Brotherhood,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement given to reporters on Saturday.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said the timing of the recent attacks make the associations between the Brotherhood and ISIS terrorists “apparent.”

“This is a matter of motives…. I, as I think any Egyptian on the street, will make the educated presumption that this was perpetrated by the Muslim Brotherhood. Many of the [online] sites of Muslim Brotherhood rejoiced at the fact,” he said.

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In Sinai, violence continued Saturday. A bomb exploded next to a power station in Sheikh Zuweid, killing two workers and injuring another, security officials said.

In Rafah, a city on the border with the Gaza Strip, a roadside bomb reportedly exploded near a civilian home Saturday, killing a child and wounding four others.