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New IS leader threatens wave of attacks, 'focused on Israel'

IS' self-declared caliphate was defeated in 2019 [Getty]

Date of publication: 27 January, 2020

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Israel has been largely immune from attacks by the IS militant group.

The Islamic State group released an audio message on Monday, vowing to make Israel the main target in a new wave of attacks by the militants.

The statement is purportedly of IS' spokesman Abu Hamza Al-Quraishi, who said that the group's new leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi Al-Quraishi had called on the group's militants to launch "a new phase" of attacks and vowed to make Israel the main target of operations.

"The eyes of the soldiers of the caliphate, wherever they are, are still on Jerusalem," the spokesman said in the 37-minute message, published via the group's main broadcasting channels.

"And in the coming days, God willing, you will see what harms you and what will make you forget the horrors you have seen," Abu Hamza Al-Quraishi said. 

Al-Quraishi promised that the attacks would be of an "unprecedented scope", according to AFP, which could not immediately authenticate the message.

IS controlled territories in Syria and Iraq, until their collapse following offensives by multiple parties over the past few years.

The group still carries out hit-and-run attacks in these areas, while a faction is present in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

The spokesman said IS leader Quraishi was "determined, and has encouraged his mujahideen brothers in all provinces, and Muslims across the world", to launch "a new phase" in the attacks.

That new focus "is fighting the Jews and reclaiming what they have stolen from the Muslims, and this cannot be reclaimed except through fighting", he said.

US President Donald Trump is set to unveil his so-called "Deal of the Century", a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians which is believed will heavily favour the former.

Hamas have warned the deal could spark a new wave of violence between Palestinians and Israelis.

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