Israel Political Brief August 18, 2011: Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu’s Statement in Response to the Terror Attacks in Eilat that Killed 7, and Injured 33



Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made an official statement on the tragic events that took place on Thursday when terrorists attacked a bus and two cars in Eilat, killing 7 and wounding 33.

The attack was followed by another shooting incident in which fire came from the Egyptian border, attacking IDF troops, leaving one soldier wounded critically, and a number of others injured.

The Prime Minister’s statement:

First I want to send my condolences to the families of the victims of the terror attacks, and the soldiers that fell in the shooting incident in the South. I hurt their hurt. I know that the lives of these families will never return to their prior route.

I also want to send wishes for a quick recovery to the wounded that are in the Israeli hospitals tonight.

We were all witnesses today to [terrorist] forces’ attempt to escalate the level of their attacks when they attacked from the Sinai. If someone thinks Israel will go along with that, they are wrong.

When you attack Israeli citizens we will react immediately and with strength.

This principle was implemented today.The people that hid in Gaza as they gave the order to murder our people are no longer alive. I would like to praise the Shabak (Israel Security Agency) who are responsible for targeting those in Gaza who killed our people in the south.

We must praise the IDF forces, Shabak and the police, the ones who acted quickly in the Sinai and immediately faced and fought the terrorists, preventing further disaster.

If these people think they can hurt our people with no response they will find that they will have to pay a price, a very heavy price.

As the Prime Minister made these statements, more rockets fell near Ashkelon.

In Gaza, Abu Awad Kamel a-Neirab, commander of the Salah a-Din Brigades was killed in an Israeli airstrike around 5:00 PM on Thursday.

Israel Brief August 18, 2011: 7 Dead, 33 Injured in Eilat, Israel Palestinian Terror Attacks



7 Dead, 33 Injured in Eilat Terror Attacks

Source: Virtual Jerusalem, 8-18-11

Israeli goes on highest terror alert after a string of terrorist attacks still ongoing near the Israeli-Egyptian border north of Eilat bus attack eilatThursday, Aug. 18 left seven Israeli soldiers and civilians dead and 33 injured. Five servicemen are in critical condition. The assailants who may have crossed in from Sinai used automatic, anti-tank weapons, mortars and roadside bombs for separate attacks on two buses and civilian and military vehicles on Highway 12 near the Israeli-Egyptian Sinai border.

All three gunmen who attacked the bus were killed in a firefight with the Israeli police force. Some 20 terrorists are estimated to have taken part in the attacks. Israeli military sources estimated that 20 terrorists took part in the attacks – some reaching their targets through Israel, others providing them with mortar cover from Sinai. Four were killed. Some of their bodies were rigged with explosives.

All the highways to Eilat are closed to traffic as the entire southern region is scoured for more terrorists and bombs.

debkafile reported earlier: A special police force located the gunmen who shot up two Israeli buses north of Eilat, Israel’s southern most town and port, and engaged them in a firefight. Casualties are reported.

The gunmen first attacked an Israeli Egged bus north of Eilat, injuring at least six passengers Thursday morning. The 392 bus carrying mostly soldiers on leave from Beersheba to Eilat came under automatic fire on Highway 12 as it passed the Netafim checkpoint on the Israeli-Egyptian border of Sinai from attackers who jumped out of a private vehicle which had been trailing the bus. The second bus and other passing vehicles were attacked with an anti-tank weapon. An army vehicle was then blown up by a roadside bomb and another came under fire.

debkafile’s military sources: This week the Egyptian army launched a major counter-terror operation against Islamists terrorizing the peninsula and its borderlands.

Whether he attackers came from Sinai or the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip has not been finally determined.

7 Israelis reported dead in Palestinian terror attacks

Source: JTA, 8-18-11

Israeli paramedics wheel an injured man on a stretcher at the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba following a terrorist attack in southern Israel, near the Egyptian frontier, Aug. 18, 2011.  (Dudu Greenspan/Flash 90)
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Other Media

Israeli paramedics wheel an injured man on a stretcher at the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba following a terrorist attack in southern Israel, near the Egyptian frontier, Aug. 18, 2011. (Dudu Greenspan/Flash 90)

Palestinian gunmen attacked an Israeli bus traveling near Eilat — the first in a series of attacks that reportedly have left seven Israelis dead.

Palestinian infiltrators from Gaza struck the Egged bus just after noon Thursday, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

Two other attacks — roadside bombs detonated as a vehicle drove past and another on Israeli troops — occurred in the same area shortly after, according to Lt.-Col Avital Leibovitch, the IDF’s chief spokesman for the foreign press.

Israeli media are reporting that there are at least seven Israeli fatalities in the attacks, and that Israeli soldiers have killed three of the terrorists. The IDF has not confirmed the fatalities.

Crossfire between IDF forces and a cell of seven terrorists continued three hours after the initial attack, and some injuries have been reported, according to the IDF.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the attacks “demonstrate the weakening of Egypt’s control over the Sinai Peninsula and the expansion of terrorist activity there.” He added that Israel’s military will retaliate against the attacks, which he said “originate in Gaza.”

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz arrived at the scene to conduct an assessment, according to the IDF.

Egyptian officials have denied that Egypt was involved in the attacks, according to reports.

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