ISIS has claimed responsibility for a shooting and stabbing terror attack in Jerusalem that left an Israeli police officer, Hadas Malka, 23, dead.
The jihadist group vowed that it was just the first of many attacks.
In an online statement, the terrorists said three ISIS fighters had targeted “a gathering of Jews” in an attack. They warned “this attack will not be the last. With God’s help, we succeeded in carrying out an attack in the heart of Jerusalem.”
This is the first attack in Israel that ISIS has claimed responsibility for, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, an organization that monitors extremists.
Such claims are often impossible to corroborate, and Islamic State has taken responsibility in the past for attacks in which it was not directly involved.
Hamas dismissed the claim. Israeli officials also cast doubt on it, saying there was no indication of IS involvement, and that the attack did not appear to have been directed by any group.
Islamic State affiliates have claimed rocket fire into Israel, and previous terror attacks in Israel have been Islamic State-inspired. At least two 2016 attacks were inspired by Islamic State, according to Israeli officials: a January 1, 2016, shooting in Tel Aviv that left two bar-goers and a cab driver dead, and a truck attack in Jerusalem in December 2016 in which four soldiers on a tour of cultural sites were slain.
In a statement, ISIS said the attack was “revenge for the religion of Allah and the sanctities of the violated Muslims.”
“Let the Jews watch for the demise of their state at the hands of the soldiers of the Caliphate.”
Three West Bank Palestinians, armed with an automatic weapon and knives, carried out almost simultaneous attacks at two adjacent locations. Two attacked police at Zedekiah’s Cave. The third stabbed Malka a short distance away at Damascus Gate.
The 23-year-old staff sergeant died at Hadassah Hospital in Mount Scopus.
The attackers were identified as Bra’a Salah and Asama Atta, both born in 1998, and Adel Ankush, born 1999. They were all shot dead on scene by security forces.
The three men, if you can call them that, were from Deir Abu-Mashal, a village near Ramallah. They had all been arrested for or at least been involved in “terrorist activity.”
Early on Saturday morning, Hamas rejected IS’s claim of responsibility, saying the three belonged to Palestinian terrorist organizations.
“The claim by the Islamic State group is an attempt to muddy the waters,” said Sami Abou Zouhri, spokesman for the terrorist group which runs the Gaza strip.
The attack was carried out by “two Palestinians from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and a third from Hamas,” he said.