Former Israel DM: ISIS ‘Apologized’ to Israel for November Clash

Brief Gunbattle Was Apparently Inadvertent

In a shocking revelation, former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon (Likud), who served from 2013 until mid-2016, revealed that the November gunbattle between Israeli troops and ISIS forces along the Golan frontier, materially the only significant fight between the two sides, was followed up with an ISIS “apology.”

Being ISIS generally speaking means never having to say you’re sorry, and the group has no real allies so it generally doesn’t come up. That ISIS felt the need to apologize to Israel for the brief clash, which had no Israeli casualties, speaks volumes about the group’s position.

Ya’alon revealed this apology in the context of comments about Israel’s policy in Syria, and its repeated airstrikes against Syrian military targets whenever any cross-border fire is reported has led Syria to repeatedly complain that Israel is a de facto ally of the rebels.

It appears ISIS may see things this way too, at least for now. Despite ISIS making public statements playing up their animosity toward Israel, and their ideology clearly positioning them as an enemy, they likely see Israel as an ally of convenience.

Israeli officials have largely treated ISIS the same way, as while they sometimes express public concerns about the rise of ISIS, they have already repeatedly made clear that they prefer Syria to end up under the control of ISIS instead of being an ally to Iran.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of