Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
A Palestinian inspects the debris of a destroyed motorcycle after an Israeli airstrike in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, Monday, June 18 2012. Militants crossed from Egypt's turbulent Sinai Peninsula into southern Israel on Monday and opened fire on civilians building a border security fence, defense officials said. One of the Israeli workers was killed, and two assailants died in a gunbattle with Israeli troops responding to the attack. Several hours after the attack, an Israeli airstrike killed two men riding a motorcycle in the northern Gaza Strip near the Israeli border. The Islamic Jihad militant group said the men were members on a "reconnaissance" mission and vowed revenge. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Al-Qaida-linked group claims attack from Gaza
Video » The Mujahedeen Shura Council of Jerusalem claims responsibility for the deadly attack on Israel.
First Published Jun 19 2012 12:10 pm • Last Updated Jun 19 2012 12:13 pm

Gaza City, Gaza Strip • A shadowy group claiming ties to al-Qaida said Tuesday that it carried out a deadly cross-border attack in Israel, the strongest evidence to date to back Israeli claims that the global terror network is operating on its doorstep.

While the claim of responsibility, made in a video obtained by The Associated Press in the Gaza Strip, could not be independently verified, it was accompanied by a separate statement with additional details on the attack posted on a website affiliated with al-Qaida.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

In Monday’s attack, two gunmen infiltrated Israel from Egypt’s Sinai desert, killing a civilian worker who was part of a team building a border fence to prevent such attacks. The two gunmen were later killed by Israeli forces.

The short video said the attack was carried out by the Mujahedeen Shura Council of Jerusalem, a murky group that was formed in April.

It identifies two men, one Egyptian and one Saudi, as the perpetrators of Monday’s attack. "Soon we will carry out a double suicide mission against the enemy troops on the Egyptian border with occupy Palestine today, Monday, June 18," said the Saudi man.

Later Tuesday, the group issued a statement on an al-Qaida-linked website saying the men targeted an Israeli patrol with a bomb, anti-tank rockets and gunfire. It said the attack was dedicated to "Sheik Mujhahid Osama bin Laden," the al-Qaida founder who was assassinated by U.S. troops last year.

The Israeli military declined comment on the latest claims. Military officials have been warning for more than a year that al-Qaida is operating in the area.

Israeli officials believe the group has taken advantage of the power vacuum in the Sinai since the ouster of longtime Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak last year.

On Tuesday Israel’s military chief, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, toured the area of the infiltration and said his forces are dealing with the situation.

"The more significant issue is what is happening inside Sinai, the dispatch areas, the terror bases that are expanding and growing there. Egypt must exercise its sovereignty in Sinai," he said.


story continues below
story continues below

Israeli officials also believe al-Qaida and other "global jihad" elements have infiltrated the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, which lies between Israel and the Sinai.

Hamas denies al-Qaida is operating in Gaza. The two militant groups have far different ideologies. Hamas says its struggle is focused solely against Israel, while al-Qaida claims to be fighting a holy war against the West.

Even so, Israel blames Hamas for all violence emanating from Gaza. Following Monday’s attack, Israel carried out a series of airstrikes on militant targets in Gaza, drawing retaliatory rocket fire.

Two Palestinian men in Gaza were killed early Tuesday following an airstrike, which Israel said was in response to rocket fire. In all, at least 20 rockets fell on southern Israel Tuesday. Residents in the southern town of Sderot were told to stay close to shelter throughout the day, while a local college was forced to cancel its graduation ceremony. There were no reports of injuries on the Israeli side.

The flare-up in violence is the most serious fighting between Israel and Gaza militants in months, and has threatened an informal cease-fire that has largely held for the past three years. Even Hamas, which has largely stayed out of violence, claimed responsibility for some of the rocket fire.

In another development Tuesday, vandals torched and scrawled graffiti on a Palestinian mosque in the West Bank, Israeli security officials said. Suspicion fell on radical Jewish settlers angry over the looming demolition of an unsanctioned settler enclave.

By July 1, the government has committed to destroying 30 apartments built illegally on privately owned Palestinian land. Acts of vandalism against Palestinian property have been expected ahead of that date because radical settlers routinely attack Palestinian targets in retaliation for government settlement policy they oppose.

The Hebrew-language graffiti spray-painted on the mosque in Kfar Jabaa read, "Ulpana War" and "Price Tag," the names of the outpost and the settler retaliation campaign.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attack and said authorities would act swiftly to bring the vandals to justice. "This is an act of intolerant and irresponsible lawbreakers," he said.

Police said no suspects had been arrested in the predawn attack.

Israeli construction on lands the Palestinians claim for a future state is at the heart of the current peacemaking deadlock.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.