For the first time, Daesh is threatening to launch attacks on Israel.
In a rare speech published last weekend, the Islamic State’s “Caliph”, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, is purported to have said: “The Jews thought we forgot about Palestine and they deflected our attention from it. Not at all. With Allah’s help we will not forget it.
“Soon with Allah’s help you will hear the voices of jihad fighters.”
While its members have attacked Jewish targets in France and Belgium, Daesh has yet to operate directly against the Jewish state, a fact that has fuelled conspiracy theories claiming Israel and the United States “created” Daesh.
“Palestine will not be your land or home,” says the man claiming to be Al-Baghdadi in the recording.
“It will be your cemetery. Allah gathered you in Palestine so the Muslims can kill you.”
While Daesh forces in Syria are not currently close to Israel’s border, an affiliated organisation — Shuhada al-Yarmouch — does control part of the southern Golan, and Israel is closely monitoring its operations.
Meanwhile, Daesh activity against Israel has mainly amounted to the recruitment of Israeli-Arab citizens. The security services have either arrested or are aware of around 50 Israeli-Arabs who have joined Daesh. Some have travelled to Syria to fight with the terror group.
The Daesh warnings have added to a feeling within Israel’s security establishment that the relative quiet on Israel’s northern borders — due to the fact that its enemies there are all embroiled in the fighting in Syria — cannot last forever.