Armed group in the Sinai declares it will fight Israel

An ostensible Sinai-based armed group calling itself Kitaib al-Farouq (KF) has recently released a statement asserting its intention to carry out offensive operations against Israel as a response to the ongoing war in Gaza.

The statement published by KF notes the war in Gaza and the number of Palestinian casualties as the reason for the formation of the new organization. The speaker urges Arabs, Muslims, and others to take up arms and fight Israel due to the “injustice” that is occurring in Gaza. The group goes on to threaten attacks on the border area of southern Israel, including Eilat.

Since the Oct. 7 Hamas-led terrorist attacks, there have not been any reported assaults by Egyptian insurgents against southern Israel due to the war. However, on Jan. 15, gunmen injured an IDF soldier following an attempt to cross into Israel from Egypt. Though Egyptian officials said that the incident was related to drug smuggling.

By all indications, KH appears to be a newly formed group that does not have any apparent associations with well-known terrorist groups such as the Islamic State, al-Qaeda, or Palestinian armed factions. Additionally, the presence of Muhammed Salah’s image hanging in the background suggests that the members of this group are most likely a local Egyptian cell.

Nevertheless, it is unlikely that this seemingly emerging organization poses a direct threat to Israel’s southern border with Egypt. However, it is noteworthy to acknowledge that the conflict in Gaza has stirred up fervent calls among jihadist groups urging violence against Israel and Jewish targets worldwide.

Joe Truzman is an editor and senior research analyst at FDD's Long War Journal focused primarily on Palestinian armed groups and non-state actors in the Middle East.

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