In October, ISIS released its first Hebrew-language threat to Israel
In October, ISIS released its first Hebrew-language threat to IsraelScreenshot

The Israeli intelligence community assesses that Israel is likely to be targeted by the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2016, Middle East Newsline (MENL) reports.

This, despite a report last month by Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) noting that the Palestinian cause is not a major issue for ISIS.

MENL quotes Israeli sources saying that the successful Russian air offensive against ISIS in Syria has sparked an exodus by the terrorists that could lead to attacks against neighboring Israel. Attacks could also come from Egypt.

"We have been very fortunate until now," a source said, "but it looks like ISIS is preparing to find other venues, and the most logical one is here." Recorded ISIS threats against the West have included Israel at times.

Just last week, an Israeli court indicted five Israeli-Arabs, ages 19 to 27, on charges of establishing an ISIS cell. Nearly a year ago, a ring of seven ISIS conspirators from the Galilee was uncovered, led by 40-year-old Nazareth attorney Adnan Ala a-Din, a graduate of Hebrew University Law School. Support for ISIS has also grown among the Bedouin sector.

On the other hand, the MEMRI report, while mentioning ISIS's "Slaughter the Jews" social media and video campaign, stresses that the terror organization "sees conquering Baghdad, Damascus, Cairo, and Mecca as taking precedence over liberating Jerusalem." MEMRI notes that "unlike many Arab and Islamic movements and organizations for [which] the liberation of Palestine [etc.] head their priorities, or who at least claim this to be the case, ISIS perceives them [only] as long-term goals."

Washington-based MEMRI explains that ISIS does recognize the importance of the Palestinian cause for the Arab and Islamic world, and "exploits it, as do other regimes, organizations, and movements, as an element in its arsenal of informational tools and as a means of recruiting supporters." ISIS enjoys the media attention it gains with its threats of attacks against Israel – for the purpose of "strik[ing] at its main rival in the Palestinian arena – that is, Hamas."

"ISIS has no real organized presence among the Palestinians in either the Gaza Strip or the West Bank," MEMRI concludes.

Despite this, ISIS does have a significant presence in the neighboring Sinai Peninsula, and several small jihadist factions inside Gaza have pledged allegiance to ISIS. There have also been consistent reports of Hamas and ISIS cooperating against Egypt and Israel, despite the two Islamist groups' ideological differences.