Three terror attacks near Eilat claim seven lives, leave 31 injured as passenger bus, military patrol and private car targeted; IDF kills seven terrorists. Security forces declare high alert in southern sector.
Terrorists launched a multifocal terror attack on Israel’s south on Thursday, killing seven people and injuring 30. One of the wounded is in serious conditon.
The terrorists made use of rifles as well as missiles. Defense officials believe they were planning a more extensive attack but quick responses by the IDF and special forces prevented additional casualties.
Forces succeeded in killing seven terrorists after an extensive manhunt, and found an explosive device on one of the bodies.
The attacks began around 12 pm, when a cell of three terrorists opened fire on Egged bus 392, heading for Eilat. Witnesses say the three, dressed in IDF uniforms, opened a barrage of fire on the bus, which was packed full of passengers.
Authorities suspect the terrorists emerged from a white car that was following the bus. They exited the car and began spraying the bus with bullets, firing from top to bottom.
Soldiers who were on the bus returned fire, and then began to treat the wounded. The bus stopped when it reached an IDF checkpoint at Netafim junction.
A second attack, which took place at around 12:30 pm, took place near the Egyptian border. Explosive devices were detonated with the aim of hitting an IDF force headed towards the scene of the first attack. The IDF says there were a number of casualties.
In a third attack, which took place at 12:40 pm, a mortar shell exploded near a vehicle. No one was hurt.
In a fourth attack, which took place at 1:30 pm, terrorists fired at another bus and a private vehicle. In addition, an anti-tank missile was fired at the bus, but hit the private vehicle instead, killing those inside.
After the fourth attack special forces fired at the terrorists and clashes ensued. A number of terrorists were killed, according to reports.
According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, an IDF force that arrived at the scene of the first attack hit an explosive device, and soldiers were injured. IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Benny Gantz and Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino are en route to GOC Southern Command, where they will confer with Southern Command Chief Major-General Tal Russo.
Military officials say the attack was well-planned, and that the terrorists were well-coordinated throughout. Aside from rifles, the gunmen also had a number of missiles at their disposal, and the army fears they may have been planning to kidnap a soldier.
Live blogging the attacks:
As of now, it’s believed that terrorists left Gaza through Philadelphi, crossed into Egypt and then came back across the border into Israel along Route 10 (they didn’t say 10 but that’s what’s on the map) and attacked.
IDF says event not yet ended. They cannot say if there are other terrorist cells wandering around the area.
There are exchanges of fire near Gaza.
Obama citicizes Israel incessantly for protecting itself against Arab muslim terrorists, many of whom come from Gaza. Kiss up to our enemies and piss off our allies. That’s the way he rolls.