Terrorists Attack Southern Israel; Worst attacks in over 3 years
Yesterday, terrorists in Israel fired on two buses in separate attacks near Eilat.
There were at least 8 casualties and 30 wounded, with 3 gunmen killed by the Israel Defense Forces. A civilian car was also targeted by an anti-tank missile and a roadside bomb harmed an IDF patrol unit.
“It was a grave terrorist incident that took place in several locations,” Defence Minister Ehud Barak said in a statement.
“It reflects the weakening of Egypt’s hold in the Sinai and the broadening of activities by terror elements.”
The Israeli military said “terrorists shot at a bus on its way to (the southern coastal city of) Eilat and then fired an anti-tank rocket at another vehicle. At the same time, a military patrol hit an explosive device.”
The bus driver continued to a nearby military base where some passengers were treated for injuries.
“I saw two men in fatigues shooting at me,” the bus driver, Benny Bilbaski, told Israel Radio.
“I saw that there were wounded on the bus but I continued to drive on, looking straight not looking right or left. Once I got a kilometre past the area and I was out of range we took care of the wounded.”
“Our initial assumption is that a terrorist squad has infiltrated to Israel and caused this multiple attack,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Avital Leibowitz, an Israeli military spokeswoman.
Military spokeswoman Lieutenant-Colonel Avital Leibovich wanted to make the severity of the situation clear, saying “we are talking about a terror squad that infiltrated into Israel.” General Yoav Mordechai agreed and said the attack was clearly well-planned.
Senior Israeli officials quickly convened an emergency session at their Defense Ministry. The terror attacks were executed by the Popular Resistance Committees, a coalition of Palestinian factions.
In response, Israel launched an air attack in the Gaza strip, killing the head of the PRC and other senior operatives, despite the group claiming that they had no involvement. Some have threatened retaliation for the death of the group’s leadership.
Secretary of State Hilary Clinton condemned the attacks on Israel. “The brutal and cowardly attacks near Eilat appear to be premeditated acts of terrorism against innocent civilians…(and it) only underscores our strong concerns about the security situation in the Sinai Peninsula.”
Clinton also stated that our country and this administration stand with Israel “as our friend, partner, and ally – now and always.”
Firstly, I would like to express my condolences to the families of the civilians murdered, and to those of the soldiers who fell while responding to today’s terrorist attacks.
I share their pain. I know that their lives will never be the same. I also want to express my hopes for a speedy recovery to those injured in these attacks and are currently undergoing treatment in hospital.
We all witnessed today an attempt to escalate the terrorist war against Israel by launching of attacks from the Sinai. If there is someone who thinks that the State of Israel will let this pass, he is mistaken.
I have set out a principle – when the citizens of Israel are attacked, we respond immediately and with strength. That principle was implemented today. Those who gave the order to murder our citizens, while hiding in Gaza, are no longer among the living.
I commend the IDF and the security services who eliminated today in Gaza the senior figures of the organization which carried out the terror attacks in the south. I commend the soldiers, police, and members of the security services who acted swiftly, determinately and bravely against the terrorists, and who thereby prevented an even greater tragedy.
If the terrorist organizations believe that they can attack our citizens and get away with it, they will soon learn how wrong they are. We will exact a price, a very heavy price.
ראשית אני מבקש לתת את תנחומיי למשפחות האזרחים שנרצחו, וללוחמים שנפלו בפיגוע בדרום. אני כואב את כאבם. אני יודע שחייהן של המשפחות הללו לעולם לא ישובו למסלולם הקודם. מכאן אני מבקש גם לשלוח איחולי החלמה מהירה לפצועים שמאושפזים בבתי החולים בארץ.
כולנו היינו עדים היום לניסיון לעלות מדרגה בחזית הטרור על ידי התקפות מסיני. אם יש מישהו שחושב שמדינת ישראל תשלים עם זה, הוא טועה. קבעתי עיקרון, כשפוגעים באזרחי ישראל, אנחנו מגיבים מיד ובעוצמה. העיקרון הזה יושם גם היום. האנשים שנתנו את ההוראה לרצוח את אזרחינו ושהסתתרו בעזה אינם עוד בחיים. אני מבקש לשבח את צה“ל והשב“כ שחיסלו בעזה את בכירי הארגון שביצע את פעולת הטרור בדרום. אני מבקש גם לחזק את ידיהם של לוחמינו, לוחמי צה“ל, לוחמי הימ“מ, לוחמי השב“כ שפעלו בגבורה בגבול סיני בנחישות, במהירות, נלחמו במחבלים ובכך מנעו אסון כבד יותר.
אם ארגוני הטרור חושבים שהם יוכלו לפגוע באזרחינו, ללא מענה הם יגלו שישראל תגבה מהם מחיר. מחיר כבד מאוד
Euronews: At least 14 people have been killed in three attacks in southern Israel close to the Egyptian border.
The attacks appear to have been coordinated and targeted a passenger bus, a private car and a group of soldiers.
Media reports said seven Israelis and seven gunmen were killed in the three attacks.
Meanwhile over in “Palestine” … The mourning for their Terrorists is in full swing!
Thousands attended the funeral of Kamal Al-Neyrab, the leader of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), and four other members of the PRC in Rafah on Friday.
The Palestinian militant group was accused by Israel of being behind the coordinated series of attacks in southern Israel on Thursday, a claim which the group has denied. – RIGHT!
Oh then there is this!
Terrorist attacks in southern Israeli continued overnight and into Friday morning when a rocket fired into the courtyard of a Haredi yeshiva in Ashdod injured 18 people.
Victims of the attack were taken to Rehovot’s Kaplan Medical Centre. The yeshiva itself received only minor damage. Another rocket was also fired, hitting a synagogue attached to the yeshiva.
These latest attacks came a day after eight Israelis were killed, and more than 30 were inured, following coordinated quadruple attacks just north of Eilat.
Eye witnesses said that the victims left the synagogue after hearing the siren. They ran for cover in an adjacent building. When they heard the first blast they came outside and were then hit by the second rocket.
“The fence was thoroughly destroyed and a deep hole had gaped in the ground,” Moshe Avramovitch, one of the yeshiva students said.
“Windows and lamps were shattered in the caravan where the worshippers were praying.
The yeshiva students were saying they’re morning prayers. They ran for their lives and the rocket got them on their way back when they sought to resume their prayer.”
A total of 12 rockets were fired at southern communities overnight.
Earlier, at around 6:00 am Israel time, a siren was sounded in Beersheba followed by a rocket hitting an open field near the city.
A rocket also exploded south of Gedera, while more rockets were also fired at the Eshkol and Shaar Hanegev regional councils. Sirens were sounded in Ashkelon and Ashdod. There were no reports of injuries or damage.
On Friday morning, a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip at Gan Yavne and landed in an open field. Thirty minutes later an additional rocket landed in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council.
There were no reports of injuries or damage in both cases.
Earlier, a Colour Red alarm was sounded three times across southern communities. In two cases, rockets hit open areas in the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council, and in one case in an open field in the Sdot Negev Regional Council.
A total of four rockets were fired at Ashkelon on Thursday, two of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome system. The rockets had been aimed at residential areas. The other two rockets exploded in open areas.
Security forces scanned the area. No injuries or damage were reported.
Meanwhile, Israel’s Air Force launched extensive strikes in the Gaza Strip.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit confirmed that Israel Air Force jets attacked seven targets in the Gaza Strip in response to Thursday’s terror attacks and the firing of rockets at southern communities.
According to the statement, two terror centres and an arms manufacturing warehouse were attacked in the northern Strip, while two smuggling tunnels, a terrorist tunnel and a terror centre were attacked in southern Gaza.
On Thursday, the IDF bombed a Rafah building where senior members of the Popular Resistance Committees, who were behind the Eilat terror attacks, were staying.
Palestinian sources reported that six people were killed in the strike, including Kamal Nirab, commander of the PRC’s military wing and Khaled Shaath, a senior member of the terror group.