The Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, Lt. General Gadi Eizenkot, responded on Sunday to threats against Israel made over the weekend by the leader of the Islamic State terror group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Israeli news website nrg reported.
In a ceremony marking the establishment of a new Commando Brigade, Eizenkot said that it wasn’t necessary for one to have extensive strategic or intelligence knowledge in order to understand the extent of the threats facing Israel — among them ISIS and Hezbollah in the north and the escalation of violence in the West Bank.
Alluding to al-Baghdadi’s remarks, Eizenkot stressed the value “now more than ever” of Israel’s elite commando forces — including the Maglan, Duvdevan, Egoz and Rimon units. The new brigade, which incorporates these units, was established by the IDF to confront the rising threats from irregular military forces.
Eizenkot’s remarks followed the release of a recording on Saturday in which al-Baghdadi, the so-called “Caliph” of the Islamic State, threatened Israelis that his forces would “soon meet [the Jews] in Palestine.”
“The Jews thought that we forgot about Palestine and diverted our attention from it. Never, Jews. We have not forgotten Palestine for a moment,” he said. “The leaders of the jihad fighters will surround you on a day you think is far, but we see it as close. We are coming closer to you day by day.”