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ISIS Claims Responsibility for Rocket Attack on Israel

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- A Sinai-based, ISIS-affiliate claimed responsibility for three Grad-style rockets fired at southern Israel on Friday, with no resultant injuries or property damage.

The terror group, formerly known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, now calls itself Wilayat Sinai (Sinai Province).

Last weekend, terrorists assassinated Egypt's top prosecutor, Hisham Barakat, who led the court battle against Muslim Brotherhood members, including former Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Hisham was killed by a car bomb in Cairo.

Two days later, the group unleashed a series of well-planned, multi-pronged attacks, including a suicide bombing, which killed dozens of Egyptian security forces in northern Sinai, prompting Israel to close its main highway along the Sinai border as a precautionary measure. 

El-Sisi Meets with Troops

On Saturday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi donned his military uniform and traveled to northern Sinai to speak to his security forces in person. The former head of the Egyptian army hung up his uniforms last spring to run for president. Focusing his campaign on eradicating the terrorist element and bolstering Egypt's sagging economy, he won by a landslide. 

"I did not want to cheer your efforts through the media," the former field marshal told his troops who've been battling the terrorists, Ahram Online reported. "I wanted to come myself to thank you and to send a clear message that the armed forces are up to securing their country."

El-Sisi said the troops deployed to the Sinai are only 1 percent of Egypt's military forces. The three cities targeted by ISIS -- el-Arish, Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid -- represent 5 percent of the 60,000-kilometer-square peninsula.

"History will mark the role that the Egyptian armed forces are playing for more than four years in light of the hard times Egypt and the Middle East have been passing through," he said, calling it the military's "national duty" to defeat terrorism.

"The expression 'under control' is not enough for me. The situation is stable," el-Sisi said.

Netanyahu: Egypt Fighting 'Our Common Enemy'

Meanwhile in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated Israel's support for the fight against the Islamic State, which he called "our common enemy and that of humanity as well."

"We are monitoring all the events and are taking all necessary measures," Netanyahu told the cabinet, noting the latest round of attacks across Israel's southern border reinforces the importance of the security fence, which "prevents, or renders very difficult, ground infiltrations by ISIS and other terrorist elements."

Israel also fortified its northern border with Syria, where ISIS-affiliated jihadists fire rockets on the Golan Heights from time to time.

"We built a similar fence on the Golan Heights against ISIS and other terrorist elements there, and, as you know, we have also started to build a security fence on our eastern border," Netanyahu said.

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About The Author


From her perch high atop the mountains surrounding Jerusalem, Tzippe Barrow tries to provide a bird's eye view of events unfolding in her country. Tzippe's parents were born to Russian Jewish immigrants, who fled the czar's pogroms to make a new life in America. As a teenager, Tzippe wanted to spend a summer in Israel, but her parents, sensing the very real possibility that she might want to live there, sent her and her sister to Switzerland instead. Twenty years later, the Lord opened the door to visit the ancient homeland of her people.