JERUSALEM (Christian Examiner) – The Islamic State (ISIS) has released nearly a dozen videos calling for Palestinians to carry out more lone wolf knife attacks on Jews, but they are also aimed at gathering a greater following for the terror group than both Hamas and Fatah, the leading political parties among Palestinians.
The videos, produced by ISIS media outlets in several "caliphate provinces," are meant to give the impression that the recent attacks on Israelis are part of a "global campaign," the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), the organization gathering and analyzing the videos, said.
"Beyond the calls for more attacks, the campaign also serves ISIS propaganda goals: First, it enables ISIS to insert itself into events surrounding the Palestinian issue, which drives headlines worldwide. Second, ISIS sees itself as the force defending all the world's Muslims, and as such it must portray itself as influential in all things concerning the Palestinian issue and the struggle for what is considered one of the most important issues for all Muslims – Al-Aqsa mosque. Third, the campaign counters the criticism by ISIS's rivals that it does not devote sufficient attention to the events in Jerusalem and does not fight Israel," the analysis from MEMRI said.
The organization said the videos bear no indication of the Islamic State's desire to join the war on Israel in the immediate future, but they are happy to encourage others to do so and to call for all jihadists to follow them "under a single banner – that of ISIS."
Only ISIS offers Muslims the hope of recapturing Jerusalem, the fighters on the video say as they criticize secularism, nationalism and both Hamas and Fatah. Hamas is closely aligned with Shiite Iran and Syria, and Fatah – one video said – had become "an agent of the infidel Jews and Christians."
Recent attacks on Jerusalem are mentioned in the videos, indicating that they were produced within the past three weeks, since the knife attacks on Israelis began.
According to MEMRI, the videos are part of a social media campaign on jihadist forums. In one posting, for example, A'maq – an ISIS news agency – posted an "infographic" on its Facebook page outlining several ways to kill Jews. Those included stabbing, burning, poisoning, hitting Jewish pedestrians with a car, explosives and even throwing them "from a high place."
In one video, a jihadist speaks openly to the camera and says:
"Oh, mujahedeen, we call on you to prepare yourselves spiritually and materially to strike terror and fear into the hearts of the Jews. Oh, mujahedeen, continue your jihad against the Jews, showing determination and carrying out the commandments; terrorize them with car bombs, disperse them in all directions, turn them into lifeless corpses and scattered body parts. Know that the soldiers of Islam are fighting here in Iraq, Syria, Khorasan [Afghanistan], and West Africa, but their sights are set on Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem). They will yet enter it and conquer it, with Allah's help. This is the promise of Allah, and Allah does not break His promise."
Another says Islamic State fighters will not rest until it has rescued "Al-Aqsa from the defilement of the sons of apes and pigs" – a reference to the Jews.