A previously unknown Islamist group has claimed responsibility for an attack on Israel by militants who crossed from Egypt, according to a video message reported by SITE Intelligence on Tuesday.
The video featured a militant announcing the setting up of a group named the "Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem," while other footage showed two gunmen saying they were about to launch the attack, according to the video posted by the US-based monitoring service.
"We will head soon to execute a dual martyrdom operation targeting the forces of the Zionist enemy on the Egyptian borders with occupied Palestine... on June 18," read one of the alleged assailants, who gave his name as Abu Huzaifa al-Hazali.
He said he came from the Arabian Peninsula, without specifying his home country.
The other man gave his name as Abu Salah al-Masri, and said he originated from the Egyptian Mediterranean city of Mersa Matruh.
The two bearded men, apparently in their early 20s, were dressed in military fatigues and carried AK-47 assault rifles. They stood in front Al-Qaeda's black flag.
An Israeli civilian was killed in Monday's assault which triggered a battle with the Israeli army that left at least two gunmen dead.
The incident resembled an attack in August 2011 in which gunmen infiltrated from Sinai and staged a series of ambushes in southern Israel, killing eight.
Since Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak stepped down in February 2011, Sinai has been swept by unrest, fueling fears in Israel, which shares a 240-kilometer (150-mile) border with the Egyptian peninsula.
Seven masked gunmen, dressed in long Thob cloaks, appeared in the video sitting under a tree in a grove, as one of them announced the formation of the militant group.
"We announce the formation of the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem, as a base for jihadist work... to be part of the global project that aims to re-establish the Caliphate," or the politicial-religious system that was applied by early Muslims.
"To the Jews, the enemies of Allah, we say: you should know, you infidels, that the future is different from the past... The time of negotiations and compromises is over," he said, apparently referring to the stalling peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
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