DEBKAFILE: Was the rocket from Gaza into Israel tied to the secret Israel-ISIS war
Israel’s official spokesmen have long taken the line that the country should prepare itself for war with the Islamic State as a hypothetical threat still in the future. But that is not the case – either in the near neighborhood, especially in terrorist-ridden Egyptian Sinai, or elsewhere, even thousands of miles from Israel’s borders.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made a suggestive remark Wednesday Aug. 17 during a visit to the Israeli Air Force Base at Tel Nof east of Tel Aviv, in the company of Defense Minister Avidor Lieberman, Dep. Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Yair Golan, and the Air Force chief Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel.
No obvious pressing reason was offered for the turnout of the entire national security elite at this air base at this time. DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources are unfortunately constrained from elaborating on this. But one of Netanyahu’s comments offered a clue. He said that the Israeli Air Force had no rival anywhere and that, “It can go anywhere, at any time and perform any mission. That is true as we speak.”
This was a strong hint that the IAF was at that moment operating far from its Tel Nof Base and outside Israel’s borders, apparently on a broad mission involving several aircraft.
It may also be inferred, therefore, that the rocket from the Gaza Strip that, on Sunday, Aug. 21, exploded between two buildings in the southern Israeli town of Sderot – causing some damage but no casualties – was the first rejoinder to the mission that was the subject of the prime minister’s oblique reference.
And in fact, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis – the Sinai Islamist terrorist group that merged into the Islamic State – took responsibility shortly after.
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the ISIS Sinai branch chose the afternoon to shoot its rocket as a demonstration of its ability tot strike at the heart of Israeli towns at any
FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE CLICK LINKClick here for the Top 12 Moments in Jewish History...LET THE ADVENTURE BEGIN! »