In warning signs of what might be to come for the Jewish state, several ISIS-inspired cells in Israel have been broken up by the Shin Bet (Israel’s security agency).
According to a recent study by the University of Haifa’s Prof. Sammy Smooha, 17 percent of Israeli Arabs are sympathetic to ISIS, with support levels rising to 28 percent among those who already felt sympathy toward the outlawed Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement So are we seeing the beginning of a trend of ISIS-inspired attacks and increased identification with ISIS among Israeli Arabs and among Palestinians in the West Bank? As with most things, that depends on who you ask.
“Not yet,” says Yoram Schweitzer, a senior researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS). But he adds: “If we see an escalation between Israel and the Palestinians and if we see a real third intifada, then yes we might see more attacks affiliated with ISIS and more attempts to join ISIS.”
Schweitzer says, however, that for most Palestinians ISIS is not attractive on an ideological level. “Most of the Palestinians will not join ISIS, because they have their own reservations about the extreme violence directed by ISIS against their fellow Muslims and others, and also ISIS does not address the Palestinian national issue as a particular singular problem,” he says.