Israel denies IS claim of responsibility for Jerusalem deadly attack

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-17 16:27:14|Editor: Song Lifang
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JERUSALEM, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Israel's military on Saturday denied an Islamic State (IS) claim that the group was behind a deadly attack in Jerusalem, saying it was a small local cell that killed a female police officer.

"To our understanding, the Islamic State was not involved in the attack," an officer with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), speaking on condition of anonymity, told Xinhua.

IS released a statement on Saturday, claiming responsibility for two coordinated shooting and stabbing attacks near East Jerusalem's Old City on Friday evening. It was the first time that the organization took responsibility for a terror attack inside Israel, a target which the group warned it will "wipe out."

According to IDF, neither Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that also took responsibly for the attack, was involved in the incident.

"It was organized by a local cell that wasn't linked to any organization," said the officer.

On Friday, three assailants, armed with knives and a homemade automatic weapon, carried out two attacks at two locations simultaneously. Border Police Chief Sergeant Hadas Malka was stabbed to death.

In the wake of the attacks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled permits allowing Palestinians to visit their families in Israel during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Entry permits for prayers in Israel were not revoked.

The incidents were the latest in a wave of violence that has claimed the lives of at least 250 Palestinians, 41 Israelis, two Jordanian tourists, two U.S. nationals, two refugees from Sudan and Eritrea and a British tourist since mid-September 2015.