ISIS claims it’s behind failed attempt to kill Israeli Arabs in Egypt

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — Masked militants in Cairo fired at a group of tourists, which included several Arab Israelis.

On one was injured in the incident on Thursday evening at the Barceló Three Pyramids hotel next to Cairo, Ynet reported.

One gunmen was arrested at the scene and security forces are searching for the other individuals involved in the attack, who numbered about 20 according to the Egyptian Interior Ministry.

The ministry said that protesters aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood opened fire at and shot fireworks towards a tour bus and the hotel. But on Friday, websites associated with the Islamic State organization wrote it was behind the attack, describing it as a response to the recent call attributed to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, an IS leader, to kill Jews.

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Ahmad Tibi, an Israeli Arab lawmaker, wrote on Facebook that the Israelis there were part of a group of 45 people from Umm al-Fahm, Jaffa and Kfar Qassem and that none of them had been injured. They are due to return to Israel Friday via the Sinai.

An Egyptian security official said that the attack was not organized and Israelis had not been purposely targeted, but according to some accounts the hotel where they were staying had been targeted in the past by radical Muslims because it hosts Israelis.

The political turmopil in Egypt since 2011 and heightened activity by terrorists in Sinai have resulted in a sharp decline in the number of Israeli Jewish tourists to Egypt, though thousands of Arab Israelis still travel there regularly.

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