Fallout from anti-Muslim film continues in Israel, Sinai

An Islamic terror group based in the Sinai claimed responsibility for an attack that killed an Israeli soldier, saying it was in response to an anti-Muslim film that has roiled the Arab world.

The group Ansar Jerusalem, also identified as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdes, or “supporters of the holy place,” claimed responsibility for the Sept. 21 attack on Israeli troops patrolling the border with Egypt.

The dead soldier was identified as Cpl. Netanel Yahalomi, 20, of Nof Ayalon. Another soldier was injured in the attack by three assailants, who were killed by Israeli troops.

Palestinians hold copies of the Koran during a protest against the movie “Innocence of Muslims” in the West Bank town of Jenin, Sept. 20. photo/ap-mohammed ballas

Ansar Jerusalem, which previously has taken responsibility for blowing up an Egyptian gas pipeline to Israel and for rocket attacks on Israel, said in a statement on a jihadi Internet site that the attack was “to discipline those insulting the beloved Prophet,” referring to the controversial film “Innocence of Muslims,” which portrays the Islamic Prophet Muhammad as a fraud.

The movie’s 14-minute trailer dubbed into Arabic and released on YouTube earlier this month sparked riots that have left more than 20 people dead, including four American diplomats.

Israeli media reported another incident related to the film, in which an eastern Jerusalem woman from the Silwan neighborhood tried to stab an Israeli police officer with a knife in a police station parking lot. No one was injured in the Sept. 23 incident, during which the officer overpowered the 32-year-old woman.

On Sept. 19, Arab Israeli politicians and religious leaders asked the Jerusalem District Court to issue an injunction against Google to block all Israeli access to the film. Google owns YouTube.

The court ordered a full hearing for Oct. 15 on the request, but has declined to block access to the movie and its trailer until the hearing. Access to the video has been blocked in several Muslim countries. — jta