Several people have reportedly died in a series of attacks in southern Israel.
Reports are currently emerging from Israel that a number of people have died and ‘at least 15’ injured following a series of shootings on buses, mortar attacks and a car bomb in southern Israel.
Ha’aretz reports that the first shots were fired from a vehicle pursuing a bus travelling from Beersheva to Eilat, close to the Netafim border crossing with Egypt. The Israeli news source describes the eventsthat followed:
‘Shortly after the bus attack, IDF forces engaged in a shootout with the armed men near the scene of incident. Moreover, a second shooting attack took place in which five people were seriously wounded. In addition to the shooting attacks, mortars werefired from the Egyptian border and a bomb was set off on an Israeli army vehicle.’
Ynet cites ‘[d]efense establishment sources’ claiming that the gunfire ‘originated from the Egyptian side of the border’ and that ‘Egyptian security forces have been alerted and are reportedly conducting a simultaneous manhunt’.
The Jerusalem Post states that according to paramedics at the scene of one attack, five people were mortally wounded. It also quotes a senior IDF officer alleging that the attacks appear to have been ‘co-ordinated’. ‘Dozens reported hurt in triple terror attack near Eilat’ notes ‘the Egyptian military launched a massive campaign to capture terrorist cells operating in the Sinai’ on Sunday.
Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has already discussed the attacks on the Israeli-Egyptian border, and is quoted in another article:
‘”The attacks demonstrate the weakening of Egypt’s control over the Sinai peninsula and the expansion of terrorist activity there [...] These attacks originate in Gaza and we will act against them with full force and resolve.”’