Terrorists are terrorists.
The Islamic State on Friday night claimed responsibility for a coordinated shooting and stabbing terror attack in Jerusalem that killed an Israeli police officer, Hadas Malka, 23, in what the jihadist group vowed would be the first of many attacks.
The jihadist group in an online statement said three IS fighters had targeted “a gathering of Jews” in an operation Friday, and warned that “this attack will not be the last.”
“With God’s help, we succeeded in carrying out an attack in the heart of Jerusalem,” the group said.
This was the first time that the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for an attack in Israel, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors extremist organizations.
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 its statement, IS 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,” the statement added.
Three West Bank Palestinians, armed with an automatic weapon and knives, carried out near simultaneous attacks at two adjacent locations. Two attacked a group of police officers at Zedekiah’s Cave, and a third stabbed Malka a short distance away at Damascus Gate. The 23-year-old staff sergeant died of her wounds at Hadassah Hospital in Mount Scopus.