I can´t recall that IS has committed a terrorist attack on Israel. Why is that the case?

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    FWIK one element is likely that they -- whether one likes it or not -- allow zero refugees from Syria (or Irak) in. The quality of their intelligence services must also play a role.
    – Drux
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 11:23
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    Not quite a duplicate, but relevant: politics.stackexchange.com/questions/10414/…
    – Bobson
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 12:08
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    Almost duplicate but still different enough IMO: Why DAESH does not attack or even threaten to attack Israel?
    – Philipp
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 12:34
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    Hezbollah also has not attacked Israel for a long time. The reason might be they are too busy fighting each other Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 19:52
  • Saudi monarchies are not the victims of islamic terror as well, despite Western empire tries to persuade us that failure of Kaddafi and Assad are because of insufficient democracy. So, either Israel and Saudi tyrannies are example democracies or US spreads lies and terror altogenther with them, and terrorists are simply their own good guys (freedom fighters). US Empire is strong enough to defend itself and has resources to threaten and even to remove disobedient regimes using the terrorists. Commented Oct 10, 2016 at 12:31

2 Answers 2


tl;dr: too much competition.

IS terrorist attacks usually have these goals:

  • Retaliation for attacks on IS-controlled territory
  • Provoking western societies to discriminate against Muslims, so the Muslims feel ostracized, can be radicalized and recruited as terrorists.
  • Gaining media attention.

Israel is not attacking the IS so there is nothing to retaliate against.

Israel is already discriminating against Muslims (Palestinians) as much as they can and as a result many Palestinians are already radicalized by the Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups. A Palestinian who wants to take part in the Jihad would likely rather join one of these local groups than the IS.

Another factor which makes Israel unattractive as a terrorist target is that Israel is already targeted a lot by the Palestinian terrorist groups. Terrorist attacks are almost an everyday occurrence by now, which makes the population quite dulled to them. While a terrorist attack in the rather peaceful Europe is a very uncommon event and occupies media and politics for weeks, it's barely worth reporting in Israel. The attack would likely just get attributed to one of the Palestinian terrorist groups anyway. So there is not much attention to gain either.

  • I agree with your first and third point. I´m not so sure about your second point. I also agree with the last piece af your answer. But couldn´t it be that IS has fear of Israel, which lies so close and will surely retaliate in a harsh way? Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 16:34
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    @descheleschilder Regarding the 2nd point: Yes, polarization is indeed a declared goal of the IS leadership. This document explains why it is part of the strategy of IS. Regarding fearing Israel: The IS has no problems provoking even more powerful states, so I doubt that.
    – Philipp
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 16:43
  • @Phillipp I think nevertheless that Israel feels itself in a bee´s nest and will do much heavier things than the other powers. They posses (like the other powers) nucleair weaopons, and I think they will not hesitate to use them when under attack. Or maybe Israel itself is behind IS to create chaos and to establish (which in fact other powers are doing now) a western based society over there, like has has happened in many parts of the world. Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 22:47
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    @descheleschilder Why would they? That wouldn't further their goals.
    – Philipp
    Commented Jul 23, 2016 at 0:01
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    @descheleschilder No, the declared arch-enemy of IS propaganda is anyone who doesn't follow their perverted interpretation of Islam. Yes, they want every Jew killed, but they also want every Atheist, Christian and most people who self-identify as Muslim killed. Their actual arch-enemy is whoever currently stands in their way of building their caliphate, and the state of Israel is not yet a priority in that regard.
    – Philipp
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 13:24

Because the Palestinian organisations dominating Gaza and the West Bank are too secular and Nationalist for IS tastes. Their struggle is first and foremost against the Israeli occupation with the goal of creating their own state. IS on the other hand is Internationalist as they fight for a global caliphate under which all Muslims believing in their version of Islam would be united. Nationalism and Internationalism are on opposite sides in one aspect of the political spectrum.

Their relationship between IS and the Palestinian organisations has shifted from lukewarm to downright hostile at times. Like last year when Hamas arrested dozens of IS-supporters which was a response to direct threat by IS towards them:

"We will uproot the state of the Jews [Israel] and you [Hamas] and Fatah, and all of the secularists are nothing and you will be overrun by our creeping multitudes," ... "The rule of sharia [Islamic law] will be implemented in Gaza, in spite of you. We swear that what is happening in the Levant today, and in particular the Yarmouk camp, will happen in Gaza,"


Hamas implements a form of Sharia in Gaza but it is not strict enough in IS's views and therefore they are the enemies and need to be fought.

The thing with fundamentalists is that their worst enemies aren't those with completely different ideas from themselves but those who hold slightly different views. It's true of Christian fundamentalists, Jewish fundamentalists, Muslim fundamentalists, political fundamentalists... For example, during the Cold War China was at times a bigger threat to the Soviet Union than the United States due to their somewhat different interpretations of what Communism meant.

IS surely would like to attack Israel but doing so would be a challenge to Hamas' and Fatah's authority and they aren't strong enough yet.

Currently, they are trying to establish themselves in Gaza. They haven't accomplished much yet, but they are firing a few rockets into Israel now and then. The point of those rockets aren't to cause terror but to win support from the local population as some (how many are impossible to say) are dissatisfied with the cease-fire Hamas has adhered to. Gradually they will try and build their standing and when they are confident, they will try and take over Gaza in a violent with Hamas.

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    Gaza is no dominated by Palestinian Authority, instead it is currently ruled by Hamas, a Sunni group that is not secular at all. But considered isis has tensions with al-qaeda, another Sunni group, Hamas might not allow isis to have activities in Gaza. Also Hamas is sponsored by Iran, which is currently fighting Isis in Syria, and supporting Shiite groups fighting isis in Iraq. Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 19:56
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    You're right. But secular <-> religious is a large spectrum and in IS minds, both Hamas and Fatah are way to secular. Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 21:18

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