This morning, a series of terrorist attacks occurred near Eilat, killing at least seven and injuring as many as 40. The victims of the attacks have been taken to hospitals in Eilat and Be'er Sheva and the Hadassah Medical Organization has offered assistance if needed.
These attacks came just one day after Israeli UN Ambassador Ron Prosor demanded that the UN condemn the increasing number of attacks in southern Israel.
"Israel expects the Security Council, the Secretary-General, and the international community to condemn all of these attacks immediately and unequivocally," Prosor wrote. "It is only by chance that these most recent attacks did not cause civilian casualties. With rockets continuing to rain down on our major cities, Israel cannot and will not rely on good luck to defend its citizens."
Hadassah representatives joined coalition partners and the media for a briefing by Lieutenant Colonel Avital Leibovich, Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson to the International Press. Leibovich explained that the attacks started around 12:00 p.m. local time when a civilian bus, headed to Eilat from Be'er Sheva, was attacked by heavy gunfire. Around the same time at a nearby location, another bus and two civilian vehicles were also attacked with gunfire. IDF soldiers responding to the attacks were hit by an IED (improvised explosive devise) and a civilian tractor near the boarder fence with Gaza was hit by mortar shells.
IDF forces pursued the terrorists and killed seven. Leibovich confirmed that the terrorists originated from Gaza, but it is unclear what organization they are affiliated with. Early analysis indicates that the terrorists were able to cross from Gaza into Egypt in order to enter Israel across the border with Sinai. Leibovich emphasized that the IDF has taken control of the area and has deployed additional forces to investigate and monitor the situation.
Click here for additional information and continuing updates from the IDF. Date: 8/18/2011