A video purportedly by Egypt’s Islamic State affiliate has delivered a threat to Israel, saying the Jewish state will soon “pay a high price,” a media watchdog group said on Tuesday.
Released on Monday, the 35-minute video titled “Desert Flame” also purports to show footage of alleged attacks by IS militants against Egyptian security forces in the Sinai Peninsula, according to the US-based group Middle East Media Research Institute, which translated the clip.
Jihadists in the video accuse the Egyptian army of arresting and killing its fighters, and urge more foreigners to come join their ranks in an effort to “build the foundation of the Caliphate.”
In the clip, the narrator claims that in light of Egypt’s “failure” to protect Israel from jihadist attacks from the Sinai Peninsula, “the Jews started protecting themselves by “strictly protecting [the border], recruiting agents, and [launching] airstrikes.”
The voiceover then says: “Oh Jews, wait for us. The punishment [we have prepared for you] is severe and soon you will pay a high price.”
The footage ends with kidnapped Egyptian servicemen Mohammad Abd Al-Raheem Al-Qalawi and Majdi Majdi Mas’ad being shot in the head.
Islamists in the restive Sinai who have since pledged allegiance to the Islamic State have waged an insurgency against Egyptian forces since the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
Fighting has intensified in recent years following a coup by current President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to remove Muslim Brotherhood-linked leader Mohammed Morsi from power.
According to a report in Bloomberg news last month, an unnamed former senior Israeli official said Israel has carried out drone strikes against jihadists in the peninsula.
The airstrikes were conducted with Egypt’s knowledge and blessing, according to the ex-official, who spoke to the US-based news site on condition of anonymity.
Israel Defense Forces officials believe that despite ideological differences, Hamas in Gaza is cooperating with extremists affiliated with Islamic State or other armed groups in Egypt’s neighboring Sinai region.
They praise Egypt’s crackdown on Hamas’s cross-border smuggling tunnels, which had been a main conduit for weapons into Gaza, and say the Egyptian military is doing an admirable job in a fierce battle against IS militants in Sinai.
Israel has allowed Egypt to move heavy weapons like tanks, artillery and attack helicopters into the Sinai to fight extremists, overlooking provisions in the landmark 1979 peace treaty between the two countries.
While it has become a well-known secret that Jerusalem and Cairo cooperate closely on security measures in the Sinai and Gaza, many of the details of that relationship have been kept a closely guarded secret.