18 August 2011 Last updated at 15:52 ET
Israel pounds Gaza after deadly attacks near Eilat
Series of attacks
* Shooting attack on bus near Eilat wounds 14 Israelis,
including five soldiers
* Other vehicles hit soon after, killing seven Israelis - five
men and two women
* Israeli military patrol vehicle targeted, no immediate
reports of injuries
* Seven suspected gunmen are killed as Israeli security forces
* Israeli air strikes on Gaza kill at least six people,
including a militant leader and a child
Bus attacked near Eilat, Israel, 18 August 2011 The attacks in
Israel started with an assault on a bus
The Israeli military has carried out air strikes over the Gaza
Strip, targeting those it blamed for a series of deadly attacks in
At least six people, including a senior militant, were killed in
the air strikes, Palestinian sources said.
Earlier, Israeli officials promised a strong response after
attacks on vehicles near Eilat left seven dead.
Israeli officials said Gazan militants were responsible, although
Gaza's Hamas government denied involvement.
The Israeli air strike hit a house in the town of Rafah.
Palestinian sources told the BBC that four members of the Popular
Resistance Committees (PRC), a faction in Gaza that is loyal to
Hamas but sometimes operates separately, had been killed in the
air strikes, including the group's head, Kamal al-Nairab.
PRC military chief Immad Hammad and the son of the owner of the
house were also among those killed, Palestinian sources and
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said those killed were
responsible for the attacks earlier in the day near Eilat.
"The people who gave the order to murder our people and hid in
Gaza are no longer among the living," he said in a televised
"If anyone thinks the state of Israel will resign itself to this,
they are wrong."
'Risk of escalation'
A spokesman for Israel's domestic security agency, Shin Bet, said
several of those who died had been involved in the 2006 kidnapping
of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Hamas-run Al-Aqsa television reported that security forces in Gaza
had evacuated their headquarters in anticipation of Israeli
The attacks near Eilat, a southern resort city, began when gunmen
opened fire on a bus.
Israeli officials said at least two other vehicles were then hit
nearby - one by a rocket and one by an explosive device.
They said that the attacks left seven Israelis dead and that a
number of gunmen were killed in an ensuing firefight.
In response, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said: "The real
source of the terror is in Gaza and we will act against them with
full force and determination."
Hamas, which governs Gaza, denied responsibility, and said it
would retaliate if Israel attacked.
"We will not stand handcuffed and we will spearhead resistance to
the occupation," Hamas official Salah Al-Bardaweel was quoted as
The US, the EU and the UN condemned the attacks in Israel.
"We condemn the brutal terrorist attacks in southern Israel today
in the strongest terms," the White House said in a statement.
A UN spokesman said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was "concerned
at the risk of escalation and calls for all to act with
Israeli officials said the men who attacked the vehicles near
Eilat came from the Gaza Strip and had entered Israel through
Egypt's Sinai desert.
There has been growing concern about a decline in security in
Sinai since Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was toppled in
"This violence only underscores our strong concerns about the
security situation in the Sinai Peninsula," said US Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton.
"Recent commitments by the Egyptian government to address the
security situation in the Sinai are important and we urge the
Egyptian government to find a lasting resolution."
An Israeli official said gunfire on either side of the border was
continuing into the evening.