The supposed leader of Islamic State supporters in Israel told Channel 10 News on Wednesday he believed the group would one day rule Israel, and said Jews would only be allowed to remain under Islamic caliphate rule if they adhered to the Islamic way of life.
The man, identified only by the moniker “Abu Kassem,” said he believed IS could have a presence in Jerusalem “within eight years.”
“I don’t think Israel can do anything (about it),” he added. “This is bigger. Islamic State is big. Everyone wants to take part.”
Abu Kassem said Israel was currently home to between 400-500 Islamic State supporters, and said he expected the figure to grow.
“In time they will enter Israel. This is very easy,” he said. Asked how the group would confront the Israel Defense Forces, Abu Kassem said the Israeli military would not deter them.
“They have their methods and they’ll come in,” he insisted. “I don’t think (Israel will) do anything. If you can’t go into Gaza (to defeat Hamas there), don’t think you can defeat IS.”
Asked how Jews would be treated in his vision of an Islamic State-controlled Israel, Kassem said they would allowed to live here “but you will live like I want you to. You will live here as a Muslim. If you don’t oppose me there’s no problem.”
Meanwhile the bodies of 230 people killed by the Islamic State group have been found in a mass grave uncovered by their relatives in Syria’s Deir Ezzor province, a monitoring group said Wednesday.
The discovery brings the number of Shaitat tribal members slain during the jihadists’ summer advance in Deir Ezzor province near Iraq to more than 900, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The Britain-based group said it had “learned from trusted sources that more than 230 bodies have been found in a mass grave in the desert near Al-Kashkiyeh in the east of Deir Ezzor”.
The “vast majority” were civilians, many of them executed in cold blood after the tribe rose up against the Islamic State after it had driven out rival jihadists and rebels from the area.
IS controls large swathes of northern and eastern Syria, as well as parts of neighboring Iraq.
Hundreds more members of the Shaitat tribe are still missing, said the Observatory, which relies on a large network of activists, doctors and military sources on all sides of the Syrian conflict for its reports.
The tribespeople discovered the grave as they returned to their villages from months of displacement after losing their battle against IS.
They have been allowed to return only after agreeing to respect an IS-imposed curfew, as well as a prohibition on gatherings and weapons.
Anyone who fights IS, according to the jihadists’ rules, will be considered a heretic and executed.
The jihadist group first emerged in Syria’s war in spring 2013 and has since committed some of the war’s worst atrocities.
Reported discoveries of such graves have been rare in the Syrian conflict, which broke out in March 2011 when President Bashar Assad’s forces unleashed a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protests.
In February, when IS withdrew from Aazaz, in the northern province of Aleppo, the Observatory said a possible mass grave was found in the town.
But such atrocities have been much more frequent in neighboring Iraq, where thousands of people have gone missing since the jihadists overran large parts of the country this year.