A group calling itself the “Shura Council of the Mujahideen of Jerusalem” claimed responsibility on Tuesday for a deadly ambush that killed an Israeli construction worker on the Egyptian border.
In a video posted on the internet, a group of masked and armed men claimed Monday’s attack and announced the formation of the “Shura Council of the Mujahideen of Jerusalem.”
“We announce the formation of the Shura Council of the Mujahideen of Jerusalem as the foundation of a blessed Jihadi operation, with a clear path and features to be a brick in the global project of bringing back the [Islamic] caliphate,” one masked gunman said in the video.
“To the foes of God - the Jews - we say, you infidels must know that what is coming is different than what has preceded and we shall make you drink from the same poisonous glass you gave to the people of Islam in Jerusalem,” the gunman added.
The final part of the video contains recorded statements made by two individuals in armed uniform, one claiming to be an Egyptian and the other insinuating to be a Saudi.
“I am the living martyr by God’s will Abu Huthaifa al-Hathly from the Peninsula of Muhammad (PBUH). We shall leave shortly to undergo a double martyr operation on the border of Egypt with Occupied Palestine today Monday 28 Rajab 1433 coinciding 18-06-2012,” said one of the two armed men who – contrary to the same video - were recording unmasked.
The two reportedly opened fire towards a convoy of vehicles carrying Israeli construction workers to the place where they were building part of the vast border fence along the frontier, prompting Israeli troops in the area to fire back.
Initial reports said two of the gunmen were killed along with one of the Israeli construction workers.
The Israeli army confirmed that gunmen had opened fire on construction workers in the area of the border, but did not immediately confirm the toll.
“A terrorist squad opened gunfire and possibly also fired an anti-tank rocket at an area where (Israel) is constructing the border fence,” Israeli military spokesman Yoav Mordechai told Army Radio.
“Soldiers arrived on the scene and killed one terrorist,” he said.
Army Radio said that an Israeli workman was killed by the militants.
An Israeli military source confirmed one of the workmen, an Arab citizen of Israel, was killed by the gunmen.
In the most serious attack in the area since the Egyptian popular uprising, militants crossed over the Egyptian border and killed eight Israelis in August 2011.
On Saturday, at least two rockets were fired deep into southern Israel, causing no damage or casualties. It was not clear whether they were launched from Gaza or Sinai.
Overnight on Sunday, Israeli aircraft carried out a series of strikes in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire from the enclave. Medical sources in Gaza said seven people were wounded.