Palestinian terror group Hamas has rejected the Islamic State’s claim on an attack which killed an Israeli police officer Friday.
ISIS claimed the attack shortly after it occurred, but Hamas rejected it Saturday. Two of the three attackers were members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, while the third belonged to Hamas, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told Agence-France Presse. Zuhri claimed that ISIS’s claim was an attempt to “muddy the waters.”
Israeli authorities also denied ISIS involvement.
If ISIS’s claim is legitimate, it would mark the first time that the organization has engaged in a terror attack within Israel. Jihadi groups, including ISIS and al-Qaida, see Israel as an illegitimate state and a prime adversary.
“An attack on Israel, especially Jerusalem, is a desire of every jihadi group, [and] ISIS will likely tout this attack to win hearts and minds,” said Rita Katz, director of the SITE Intelligence Group, in a tweet Friday.
Jerusalem is a crucial holy site for both Jews and Muslims, and has been a point of contention in the Israel-Palestinian peace process for decades.
Despite Hamas’s rejection, ISIS is known to have Palestinians among its ranks.
ISIS and Israel Defense Forces engaged in a brief skirmish in April, leading to the terror group allegedly apologizing.
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