ISIS enters Israel-Palestine fray?
Israel carried out an air-strike on the Gaza Strip Oct. 5 in response to a rocket attack from the territory—said to have been claimed by the "Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigade," a Salafist organization apparently affiliated with ISIS. Two rockets fired at Israel the previous night; one exploded in an open area in Eshkol, causing no injuries or damage, while the second failed to reach Israeli territory. The Omar Brigade—named after a figure who helped Abu Musab al-Zarqawi set up al-Qaeda in Iraq a decade ago—has also claimed responsibility for rocket fire on the Israeli cities of Sderot and Beersheba last month. More air-strikes on Gaza were launched following a rocket launched Oct. 10, which was intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome defense system. The new air-strikes reportedly hit Hamas targets. (Haaretz, Oct. 11; Ma'an, Oct. 10; JP, AFP, Oct. 5) The ISIS franchise in Gaza had been previously named as the "Supporters of the Islamic State in Jerusalem."
The air-strikes come amid escalating violence on the ground. Six Palestinians were killed and 145 others injured as Israeli military forces opened fire at a demonstration by the border fence east of Gaza City on Oct. 9. The Israeli army said that some 200 Palestinians approached the security fence and hurled rocks and rolled burning tires at Israeli forces, who responded with live fire towards the "main instigators."
In the Negev city of Dimona that day, an Israeli teenager stabbed four Bedouins who worked for the local municipality, seriously injuring two. A Palestinian was shot and killed in the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba (near Hebron) after reportedly attempting to stab an Israeli border officer, while a Palestinian woman was also shot in the northern Israeli town of Afula after allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli security guard. At least 900 Palestinians have been injured in seven consecutive days of demonstrations and clashes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, at least 60 with live fire, medics say. (Ma'an, Oct. 9)