Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gaza: Al-Qaida affiliate threatens in Hebrew

Jan. 14, 2010, Palestinian women take a class in Islam at the Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip. The class is run by a Gaza movement that follows the Salafi strain of ultra-conservative Islam, which is gaining ground in the Middle East.

Nov. 18, 2010 (United Press International) -- A spokesman for an al-Qaida affiliated group in Gaza issued a threat in Hebrew swearing to avenge the deaths of two Gazans killed by an Israeli missile.

In what an expert described as the first use of the Hebrew language by an al-Qaida affiliated group, an operative who identified himself as a member of the Jemaa Ansar al-Sunna or "Community of Sunna Supporters", who have a presence in Gaza, warned the "aggressor Jews" will not be safe from rockets and other attacks until they leave the "land of Palestine," said.

Details of the recording were first broadcast on Israeli Army Radio.

The half-minute recording was released less than a day after two members of the Army of Islam were killed when an Israeli missile hit their car in Gaza.

Matti Steinberg, an expert in Islam, told the Web site it was unprecedented for any al-Qaida affiliated group to use Hebrew in a recording.

Steinberg said supporters of Osama bin Laden usually published recordings in Arabic in an effort "to win over, educate and preach to the wider Muslim world."

The recording ended with a reference to Al-Quds, the Arabic word for Jerusalem, Haaretz said.

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