Update 18.50 p.m. Just heard on Israel Radio that during the Chief of Staff ‘s and Defense Minister’s briefings about the terrorist attack, another attack took place. At least one person has been injured. More updates and links here as and when they emerge.
Ynet has a little more detail about the latest shooting, and an orderly sequence of the terrorist attacks of today.
GOC Southern Command Major-General Tal Russo told reporters Thursday that of the seven Israeli victims killed in the multiple terror attack near Eilat, six were civilians and one was a soldier.
Another shooting incident was reported during the press conference, where Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz also spoke.
A military source says fire was opened on an IDF patrol searching for the terrorists who committed the deadly attacks in the south, critically wounding a soldier.
Russo recounted the chain of events during the briefing, saying that three terrorists carrying explosive devices, weapons and grenades entered Israel from Sinai.
“They spread across 300-meter range and started shooting at the first bus,” he said. “They shot at another car and another bus.”
Later a suicide bomber detonated his explosives belt, and another terrorist opened fire at IDF forces that arrive on the scene. According to Russo, two operatives were shot and killed over the border fence, and it appears that Egyptian forces killed two others on their territory.
“At this point the event has been seemed finished, but then we found explosives on the path,” Russo said.
Further to my previous post, the sequence of events in the multi-pronged terrorist attack in the south near Eilat is becoming clearer:
Israel Radio (Reshet Bet) is reporting that there are 7 Israelis killed in the attacks, besides about thirty wounded from gunfire.
The IDF Spokesman has two reports of the attacks so far:
The IDF spokesman can be followed on Twitter at @IDFSpokesperson.
The Muqata is liveblogging the whole event. Press F5 to refresh his page and receive more updates as they come in.
Here are two maps of the area of the attack, one more detailed than the other, courtesy of Israel Matzav‘s liveblog:
It is reported that Jordan issued a warning to Israel just minutes before the attack.
There is a lot of confusion about where the terrorist attacks emanated from: Gaza, the Sinai or Egypt itself. Egypt itself says that the attack did not come from their area because they did not see suspicious movements. I would take their claims with a pinch of salt until this is confirmed by the IDF. Haaretz suspect terrorists from the Sinai because Egypt has lost control of the area since the fall of Mubarak.
Ynet reports (in Hebrew) that the border between Israel and Egypt is slowly being fenced in, but it will still take more than another year for the entire border fence to be completed. Meanwhile, leaving parts of the border unfenced leads to terrorism, drugs trafficking, human trafficking, illegal immigrants.
בינואר 2010 אישר ראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו את הקמתה של גדר הפרדה בשני קטעי גבול עם מצרים, אחד בצפון באזור רפיח ואחד בדרום באזור אילת, בעלות שתנוע בין מיליארד שקל ל-1.5 מיליארד. הגדר אמורה להיבנות לאורך 230 קילומטר, והיא תחובר למצלמות ולאמצעים טכנולוגיים אחרים שבאמצעותם ניתן יהיה לעקוב מקרוב אחר ההתרחשויות באזור. תאריך היעד לסיום העבודות נקבע לסוף שנת 2012.
Translation: In January 2010 PM Binyamin Netanyahu authorised the construction of a separation fence at two sections of the border with Egypt: one in the south in the area of Rafiah and one in the south near Eilat, at a cost of between NIS 1bn to NIS 1.5bn. The fence is supposed to be built along 230 km and will be connected to cameras and other technological devices which will enable events to be followed closely. The finish date has been set for the end of 2012.
Barry Rubin estimates that this attack signifies the start of a new phase of a different kind of terrorism against Israel.