Israel threatens to attack militants in Sinai if needed

Menna Alaa El-Din , Thursday 30 Jul 2015

The attack will be initiated if the Islamic State affiliate were to attack Israeli citizens and soldiers

File Photo: An Egyptian soldier stands near the Egyptian national flag and the Israeli flag at the Taba crossing between Egypt and Israel, about 430 kilometers (256 miles) northeast of Cairo, Oct. 26, 2011 (Photo: Reuters)

A senior Israeli army officer has threatened to attack the Islamic State affiliate, Sinai Province, if they were to attack Israeli citizens and soldiers.

"If the Sinai Province tried to target our citizens and soldiers, we will make sure we hit them forcefully and decisively," said Brigadier General Royi Elcabets.

The commander was quoted on Wednesday by Israeli army spokesman Avichay Adraee, who posted the remarks on his Facebook page. The statement was made during a military ceremony marking the transfer of command from Elcabets to Rafi Miloa, the new head of the southern Adom formation.

"There have been significant changes on the other side of the border that require us to be ready for any scenario or downslide, and to continue securing our southern area," the new commander added.

Based in the Sinai Peninsula, the Sinai Province (Waliyat Sinai) pledged allegiance to the Islamist State group in November 2014.

The group is known for claiming responsibility for Egypt's deadliest and bloodiest attacks in Sinai last July.

Earlier this month, 21 soldiers were killed during simultaneous militant assaults on army checkpoints in the North Sinai towns of Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah, an attack that prompted days-long fighting between troops and insurgents and left over 200 militants dead.

The group also claimed responsibility in July for a rocket attack launched from the Sinai Peninsula into southern Israel.

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