The Islamic State group is determined to move closer to Israel’s borders, Gaza-based Palestinian jihadist and IS supporter Abu Baker Almaqdesi told Breitbart Jerusalem in an interview.
Addressing a recent attack against a monastery in Sinai in which an Egyptian police officer was killed, Almaqdesi said, “It’s clear that the goal of the brothers is to close in on all sides in the direction of occupied Palestine and fight the Jews with the intent of expelling them from Islamic lands.”
Almaqdesi refers to the entire state of Israel as “occupied Palestine.”
According to Almaqdesi, despite IS’s fronts in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Libya and Afghanistan, “our guiding compass is still the liberation of Jerusalem. The Jews have benefited from the abandonment of Islam’s holy places; they did so because of the estrangement of Muslims from their faith.”
Almaqdesi also addressed the attempts of the Islamic State group to continue firing rockets from Sinai and the Gaza Strip toward Israel. “We will continue firing at the Jews and we will continue in our attempts to commit attacks with the goal of harming Jews and their government in Palestine and in all the holy places.”
According to Almaqdesi, “The war in Sinai, the consolidation in the Gaza Strip, the attempt to gain a serious hold in Jordan and of course the war in Syria, will end with the control of the Caliphate and Sharia, and will end with the liberation of the al-Aqsa Mosque and Palestine.
“Syria is important and central and its place in Allah’s Sharia is central, but al-Quds (Jerusalem) is also central … and I know that it’s high on the agenda of the brothers leading the (Islamic) State. We won’t let the Jews continue defiling the Al-Aqsa Mosque. We won’t continue to let the Jews prevent Muslims from praying at Al-Aqsa.”
Contrary to Almaqdesi’s claims, Muslims are not barred from praying on the Al Aqsa Mosque with the exception of limited periods during any high security threats when Israel temporarily may restrict Muslim male youths from the site. In general, Muslims have twenty-four hour access to the Temple Mount and mosques on the site.
In contrast, Israeli police, working with the Islamic custodians of the Mount, bar Jews from praying on the site at any time. Jews are only allowed to visit during select hours in the morning and cannot bring holy objects to the Mount, Judaism’s holiest site.
Meanwhile, Almaqdesi continued, “The Jews know that we present a challenge and the largest threat for them and so they try to use infidel Arab and Muslim leaders – even Hamas has joined the war against Islam – but they aren’t fighting against a few thousand Mujahedeen, they are fighting Allah and Allah cannot be defeated, even if the Americans and Russians or even the entire world stand behind them.”
This isn’t the first IS-aligned threat to Israel’s borders.
Speaking on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” in March 2016, Abu al-Ayna al-Ansari, a well-known Gaza Salafist jihadist allied with Islamic State ideology, claimed it was only a matter of time before the Islamic State’s branch in the Egyptian Sinai carries out a “big operation” in the Israeli resort town of Eilat and other parts of southern Israel.
Ansari has since been arrested by Hamas and is currently in prison in Gaza.