Seven Killed in Series of Attacks on Israeli Soldiers

Egyptian soldiers deployed to Sinai only days earlier, but governor denies connection

Seven are dead and dozens wounded in a seemingly coordinated series of attacks on soft military targets in southern Israel, a normally quiet area of the country. Israeli politicians were quick to blame Egypt’s lax authority. They also pinned the attacks on militants from Gaza, and later bombed the strip.

In the first attack, men opened fire on a passenger bus full of soldiers heading home from their base for the weekend. When more Israeli troops rushed to the scene, they drove over a roadside bomb, which exploded. Anti-tank missiles were also fired at a private car.

Reports don’t say whether the dead and wounded are soldiers or civilians, or which of the attacks killed how many people.

Israeli solders tracked down the attackers, and in the ensuing firefight, killed up to four of them. Later in the day, Israeli jets bombed alleged militant groups in Gaza, claiming to have killed six.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the attacks show Egypt’s lack of effective authority, and that “the real source of the terror is in Gaza,” but the governor of South Sinai province denied the attacks originated in Egypt. Curiously, after months of no police or soldiers at all in Sinai following the recent revolts, Egyptian soldiers started patrolling the area just two days ago.

A fourth attack was reported by an Israeli channel near the border with Egypt, but there’s no news on any injuries.

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Author: Jeremy Sapienza

Jeremy Sapienza is Senior Editor at Antiwar.com