By Roi Kais
A jihadist group operating in Sinai has released a video allegedly documenting terrorists training to carry out the border attack that claimed the life of IDF Corporal Netanel Yahalomi in September.
Over the course of 50 minutes, the video, titled "Punishment to those who insulted the beloved prophet," shows three operatives belonging to the group as they prepare for the attack.
Early in the footage, a commander whose face is unseen explains the route the terrorists would take to the target site, using a bullet to point out key spots on a map.
Ansar Beit al-Maqdes terrorists training for border attack
According to the commander, the operatives were to leave after sunset on the day before the attack and trudge for five hours along a mountainous course parallel to the border. They would then stop for the evening and nighttime prayers, before continuing towards the border, where they would await two Israeli jeeps to patrol the area. Then they would mount their strike.
The speaker in the video instructs the terrorists to deal a swift blow. After all the troops are dead, he said, the assailants should hide one of the bodies in order to make Israel think that one of the soldiers was abducted. This would conclude the first phase of the operation.
Next, the terrorists were to spread out and charge at the backup forces that would arrive on the scene.
In the video, the commander appears to recount the aftermath of the event, claiming that "at least eight people were killed in the attack, in addition to the casualties in the backup force." He further asserts that the act of terror "had an effect on the morale of the Israeli soldiers, who no longer feel safe and realize that just like they can kill, they can also be killed."
In fact, one soldier, Yahalomi, died in the Sept. 21 incident, and another was injured. The three terrorists were killed following an exchange of fire with the troops.
Yearning for martyrdom
Two of the terrorists who took part in the offensive are identified in the video as Ahmad Vajia, a resident of the Al Minufiyah district, and Kabhaa Zakzouk. The third operative isn't named.
The video shows the three training in the use of firearms, reading the Quran and singing songs with Islamic motifs.
Narrators in the video also criticize the Egyptian government for sending an ambassador to Israel instead of fighting the Jewish state.
One of the terrorists, Vajia, says in the clip that he once belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood but has shunned it because the group wasn't acting on its jihadist teachings.
"I am overjoyed to among jihadists," he says, adding that he yearns to become a martyr.
The second operative, Zakzouk, calls on young Muslims to join the "holy war." The third warns the Jews that "We are lying in ambush, with Allah's help."
Ansar Beit al-Maqdes is said to have been behind several recent attacks on the Egyptian-Israeli border. It is closely associated with the Salafist-jihadist movement in Gaza and its positions are similar to those of al-Qaeda. The group has claimed responsibility for rocket fire from Sinai to Israel and for an explosion that damaged the Egyptian pipeline that supplies Israel with gas.