ISIL loses four men in attack on Israeli position in Golan Heights
Israeli forces killed four gunmen linked to the Islamic State group after they fired on soldiers Sunday, the military said, in the first such attack on the occupied Golan Heights.ISIL is in enough difficulty at this time without adding Israel to the combatants it faces. It may have ambitions to spread its religious bigotry in that direction but it lacks the means at this point.
The Israeli soldiers were targeted with machinegun fire and mortars and they shot back, before the air force bombed the vehicle carrying the gunmen identified as members of "Shuhada al-Yarmouk, an IS affiliate", said spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner.
The soldiers, from the Golani Brigade, were beyond the fence separating Israeli-occupied Golan from Syria but on Israeli territory, Lerner told AFP, noting none was wounded in the clash.
Since the beginning of the internal Syrian conflict in 2011, stray fire from government and rebel forces has hit Israel, as have attacks by the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah and its affiliates.
Sunday's clash marked the first time Syria-based jihadists opened fire on Israeli soldiers on territory under Israeli control, according to a former general, but probably did not mark a change in the strategy of the IS group.
The former director of Israel's Counter Terrorism Bureau said the initiative behind the jihadist attack was "a local decision" and not emanating from a higher echelon, and did not mark a new policy of IS attacks on Israeli forces.
"They know exactly what the Israeli response" would be to attacks, Nuriel said of IS. An Israeli front is "the last thing IS needs at this stage".