It is my hope everyone reading this has been made aware of the attacks made upon Israel, Israeli citizens, and Israeli military personnel resulting as of this writing in 8 deaths. Eight murders. Brought about by the blind hatred and ignorance of Arabs along the Egyptian border, the Sinai, and in Gaza. This special edition of Last Days News is devoted entirely to the events unfolding in Israel, with the best sources I can find. It is my prayer everyone reading this Stands With Israel, and that our sincere, earnest prayers to God are for Him to continue to protect the people of Israel and bring swift, hard, searing justice to those which are at war with Israel and have nothing in their hearts except the extermination of the nation of Israel and the Israeli people. May we all begin to pray daily and nightly for Israel to gain in strength and for its enemies to wither and be defeated.
Gunmen enter Israel from Sinai, kill 8
Airstrike ordered on Gaza after city’s worst attack since 2008
ASSOCIATED PRESS Policeofficers stop the traffic on a road in the Arava Desert leading to the southern Israeli town of Eilat on Thursday after gunmen crossed from the neighboring Egyptian Sinai Peninsula. They killed six Israelis and wounded at least a dozen in a string of attacks.
By Eli Lake
The Washington Times
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Gunmen with explosives crossed into southern Israel from the Sinai Peninsula on Thursday and carried out an attack that left eight Israelis dead and prompted an airstrike on Gaza that Israel said killed six Palestinians linked to the attack.
The attack on the Israeli resort city of Eilat, the worst since 2008, is renewing a counterterrorism focus on the increasingly lawless Sinai Peninsula, where jihadists released from prison this year are suspected by U.S. and Israeli officials of setting up a base for al Qaeda.
Officials and news reports in the region said the attack was coordinated and began about noon local time. The gunmen first opened fire on a bus carrying civilians traveling north of Eilat.
As members of the Israeli military responded to the first shooting attack, one of their vehicles was blown up by a roadside bomb. Several soldiers were injured during the rescue mission.
Israeli military sources told reporters Thursday that the commandos were armed with automatic weapons, grenades and suicide bomb belts. In the firefight, Israeli soldiers killed five of the gunmen. None was able to detonate any of the explosive belts.
On Friday, more explosions were reported in the Gaza Strip, though the Israeli military did not immediately confirm Palestinian claims they were the result of airstrikes. According to reporters in the Strip, hospital officials there said a 13-year-old boy was killed and 10 people wounded in two blasts in Gaza City. A third blast occurred in an area near the Gaza-Egypt border, which is laced with smuggling tunnels.
“There is definitely something bad happening in the Sinai,” he said in an interview. “We’ve had a series of attacks on police posts. We have had a series of attacks on the Egypt-Israel-Jordan gas pipeline, effectively putting it out of commission. Who these people are, it is not clear.”
But Mr. Riedel added that al Qaeda’s new leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, in a recent message to followers “specifically praised the attacks on the pipeline and urged jihadists in the Sinai to go after Israeli targets. He highlighted this.”
A U.S. intelligence official said that dozens of jihadists who had escaped or were released from Egyptian prisons had made their way to Sinai in the past four months. “This has been something we have been talking to the Egyptians about since February,” this official said.
In Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in remarks late Thursday that “today, we all witnessed an attempt to step up terror by attacking from Sinai. If anyone thinks Israel will live with that, he is mistaken.”
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a statement that “this violence only underscores our strong concerns about the security situation in the Sinai Peninsula. 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.”
Last week, Egypt deployed about 2,500 additional troops and 250 armored vehicles to Sinai. In February, Israel gave Egypt’s army permission to send up to four battalions into Sinai even though the 1979 peace treaty technically prohibits such deployments.
“For some years, Israeli authorities have expressed concerns that al Qaeda has been able to establish a presence in the Sinai with criminal elements among the Bedouins,” said Bruce Hoffman, director of Georgetown University’s Center for Peace and Security Studies and an analyst on al Qaeda.
Mr. Hoffman added that “we know that Salafists have been active in terms of recruitment in the Gaza.”
Israel said one of a small group of terrorist cells known as the Popular Resistance Committees is responsible for the attack. The cells were formed in 2000 in Gaza by some members of the Palestinian party Fatah to fight Israel in what is known as the second intifada.
The committees have worked with Hamas. In 2006, the group took partial responsibility for the kidnapping of Staff Sgt. Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier who is thought to be held by Hamas.
In June 2006, according to the Associated Press, Israel’s air force killed one of the committee’s founders, Jamal Abu Samhadana, in Gaza.
Photo gallery from The Washington Times
Israel hit by multiple terrorist attacks
Three separate terrorist attacks along the border with Egypt has killed at least 5 Israelis and wounded as many as 25.
Terrorists attacked a bus near Eliat with an RPG and detonated bombs near some IDF vehicles. There were also reports of another attack on a bus and vehicle.
Special forces engaged the terrorists killing at least 7. YNet News:
Heavy security forces presence is noted in the area, as a massive manhunt involving IDF ground forces and aircrafts is currently taking place. IDF forces reported three terrorists have been killed. It is unclear at this time if they were the only ones involved.
The Eilat Police have ordered emergency deployment in the area, and a situation room has been set up at the Yoseftal Hospital, which has declared a mass casualty event.
According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, soldiers were among the wounded in these incidents. IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Benny Gantz and Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino are en route to GOC Southern Command, where they will confer with Southern Command Chief Major-General Tal Russo.
All of the roads leading to Eilat have been closed, as was the Ovda Airfield. Eilat’s airport has been placed on alert.
J-Post reports some mortar fire from Egypt. The Egyptian government denies any connection to the attacks, but Defense Minister Barak claims the terrorists inflitrated from Gaza.
As Rich Baehr notes, “These types of attacks in southern Israel never occurred while Mubarak controlled things. This is only the beginning; the bloody prelude to UN action in September.”
Continuous Palestinian missile blitz after Israel bombs 12 terrorist targets in Gaza
DEBKAfileSpecial Report August 19, 2011, 9:29 AM (GMT+02:00)
After the Israeli Air Force struck 12 Hamas and other terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip overnight Thursday, Aug. 18, a hail of missiles hit the towns of Ashdod, Beersheba, Ashkelon and the smaller Sdot Negev, Shar Hanegev and Eshkol villages in a continuous blitz Friday, Aug. 19. Six worshippers were injured – one seriously – when one of the six Grads aimed at Ashdod hit a synagogue. The town’s population is advised to stay in sheltered spaces. Iron Dome is in action in Ashkelon. Red alerts have sounded in Gedera, Kiryat Gath and Gan Yavne.
Since 20 heavily armed gunmen killed eight Israelis and injured 33 in a multiple terrorist attack outside Eilat in southern Israel Thursday, Israel’s armed forces, police and emergency services have been on high alert and reinforced. All weekend public events were cancelled in the South. In the attack, gunmen from Gaza crossed the unfenced border from Egyptian into southern Israel and attacked two buses, two civilian cars and a military vehicle in an unfolding, complex terrorist operation which bore the
signature of the Lebanese Hizballah and possibly al Qaeda fugitives from Iraq.
Seven were located and killed by police and army special forces. Shortly after the Palestinian attack, the Israeli Air Force struck a building in the southern Gaza town of Rafah, killing the six top leaders of the Popular Resistance Committees which directed the attack along with other Palestinian groups linked to al Qaeda. Israel’s overnight air strikes hit more PRC as well as Hamas installations, weapons stores and smuggling tunnels.
Israeli forces backed by helicopters dropping flares combed the 70 kilometers of borderland running south from the Gaza Strip along the Egyptian Sinai border to flush out escaped terrorists and explosives traps. The searches continue Friday. The death Thursday night of Border Police Counter-Terror Unit’s Senior NCO Paskal Avrahami, 49, from Jerusalem, raised the day’s toll from terrorist attacks to eight. He was killed by one of the terrorists at large who had
crossed back into Sinai. 1st Sgt. Moshe Naftali, 22, from Ofra, member of the Golani unit, was killed in the multiple attacks earlier that day. The other six victims were civilians.
Egyptian forces carrying out an anti-terror operation in Sinai were beefed after the multiple attack in Israel to block further passage of terrorists from Gaza into Israel. One unit traded shots with a suicide team early Friday after Egyptian chief of staff Gen. Sami Annan paid an overnight visit to the Sinai forces.
Read earlier reports:
Israel tense after deadly Palestinian multiple terror attack
News Update: Terror Attack in Southern Israel
Terrorists opened fire on an Israeli bus traveling 20km from Eilat, a southern Israeli city on August 18, 2011. The terrorists fled the scene and are being pursued by IDF forces.
This incident is ongoing. This post will be kept updated.
Follow @IDFSpokesperson on twitter for real-time updates.
09:00 – Israeli city Ashdod under rocket attack: One rocket struck synagogue rooftop, injuring three, and another landed next to children’s school
07:02 – Short while ago, rocket launched from Gaza landed in southern Israel; Overnight, ~6 rockets were launched from Gaza.
24:00 – Eight Israelis killed from multi-pronged terror attack
21:20 - IDF Soldier Killed in multi-pronged terror attack
20:45 – Iron Dome, Israeli missile-defense system, intercepted rocket launched from Gaza into Israel
20:04 – Update: Israel police closed roads in southern Israel following today’s multi-pronged terror attack.
20:00 – IDF Chief of Staff: This is severe incident. IDF forces engaged with and hit terrorists at eye contact. IDF continues to operate in the south.
18:50 – IDF Spokeswoman: 7 Israelis killed in vicious terror attack in Israel.
17:45 – Today’s multi-pronged terror attack on innocent civilians near Israel’s southernmost city of Eilat led to 40 injured people and invovled live fire at civilian buses and a vehicle.
15:41 – Seven terrorists were hit by IDF after they carried out terror attack on Israel civilians.
15:27 – During multi-pronged terror attack, a vehicle was injured by roadside bomb.
15:05 – IDF Spokeswoman: Attack in Israel was directed towards civilians.
14:58 – Multi-pronged terror attack on Israel civilians came from Gaza.
14:57 – All 14 Israeli casualties were evacuated to local hospitals in Israel.
14:30 – IDF Spokesperson Announcment: Combined Terrorist Attacks in Southern Israel
14:20 – Mortar shells are being fired at southern Israel.
14:00 – IDF Spokeswoman: Initial update: Exchange of fire between IDF security sources and terrorists are taking place in Israeli territory
Photo gallery of attacks against Israel within past 24 hours:
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Multiple Terrorist Attacks Strike Southern Israel
Terrorists launched a multifocal terror attack on Israel’s south on Thursday, injuring over a dozen people.
In the first incident, Egged bus number 392, traveling from Beersheba to the southern resort city of Eilat was ambushed. Eleven people were wounded in the attack, which took place on Highway 12, about 30km north of Eilat, near the Ein Netafim junction.
Security forces, as well as Magen David Adom emergency services’ teams, were immediately dispatched to the scene. The injured were triaged on site and rushed to the Yoseftal Medical Center in Eilat.
Soon after that a second incident was reported involving yet another shooting on a bus and a private vehicle traveling south. Five people reportedly suffered
mortal wounds in the attack.
A third incident was reported at around 1pm, involving multiple roadside bombs used and rocket fire at IDF forces patrolling the Israel Egypt border fence.
A fourth incident ensued, in which security forces engaged terrorists in combat.
According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, soldiers were among the wounded in these incidents.
All of the roads leading to Eilat have been closed. Security forces are currently canvassing the area in search of suspects. IDF aircrafts are assisting in the search, as well as extensive Counter-Terror Unit forces.
…Defense establishment sources said that the fire originated from the Egyptian side of the border. Egyptian security forces have been alerted and are reportedly conducting a simultaneous manhunt.
Israeli soldiers were among the five casualties this morning, August 18, 2011, as terrorists opened fire on an Israeli civilian bus traveling 20km from Eilat, a southern Israeli city. Terrorists fled the scene and are being pursued by IDF forces.
This morning’s incident, near the southern Israeli city of Netafim, left four soldiers moderately injured and one soldier lightly injured.
Magen David Adom says that at least 6 people are dead.
Witnesses are now saying that those that fired on the buses were dressed in Egyptian Army uniforms! Egypt is denying that they were involved.
The IDF has killed three terrorists, may still be in firefight with others. So far over 24 people have been taken to hospitals.
The IDF now says:
Combined terrorist attacks are currently taking place on Israeli territory, near the Israel- Egypt border, approximately 20 kilometers north of the city of Eilat.
Nine people were injured when terrorist opened fire at an Israeli bus approximately two hours ago. The injured were evacuated to receive medical care at a nearby hospital.
Several people were injured as a result of an explosive device, detonated on an IDF force that arrived at the scene and drove over it.
Crossfire between IDF forces, led by the Commander of the 80th Division, Brigadier General Tamir Yadi and the cell of terrorists is currently underway. Additional IDF and rescue forces are arriving at the scene.
Hamas has issued a report on the attacks in which they call Eilat “occupied Om Ar-rashrash.”
Barry Rubin writes:
This isn’t just another terrorist attack—it’s a major escalation, a new phase in the Arab-Israeli conflict, and it is the bitter fruit of the U.S.-backed downfall of the government of President Husni Mubarak in Egypt.
The IDF has said that the attack originated in Gaza.
Jordan supposedly gave Israel a warning that terrorists may try to infiltrate and attack.
The IDF has released the name of the soldier who was killed.
First Sergeant Moshe Naftali, 22 years old from Ofra was killed during a combined terrorist attack in southern Israel today, Thursday August 18th 2011 around noon.
The EU’s Catherine Ashton has issued her statement on today’s events.
Hamas has threatened to strike Israel.
Israel is now reporting that the terrorists sought to capture Israelis during today’s attack.
Here is the official statement from Netanyahu’s office.
Firstly, I would like to express my condolences to the families of the civilians murdered, and to those of the soldiers who fell while responding to today’s terrorist attacks.
I share their pain. I know that their lives will never be the same. I also want to express my hopes for a speedy recovery to those injured in these attacks and are currently undergoing treatment in hospital.
We all witnessed today an attempt to escalate the terrorist war against Israel by launching of attacks from the Sinai. If there is someone who thinks that the State of Israel will let this pass, he is mistaken.
I have set out a principle – when the citizens of Israel are attacked, we respond immediately and with strength. That principle was implemented today. Those who
gave the order to murder our citizens, while hiding in Gaza, are no longer among the living.
I commend the IDF and the security services who eliminated today in Gaza the senior figures of the organization which carried out the terror attacks in the south. I commend the soldiers, police, and members of the security services who acted swiftly, determinately and bravely against the terrorists, and who thereby prevented an even greater tragedy.
If the terrorist organizations believe that they can attack our citizens and get away with it, they will soon learn how wrong they are. We will exact a price, a very
Iron Dome has intercepted two more rockets, making three in total today. It did not intercept 1 rocket, however, that landed in an open field.
The IDF said that they had intel that terrorist group was planning an attack, however, they believed they would only act at night.
Italy has called the terrorist attack “barbaric.”
Congressman Rothman has called on the Palestinian Authority and Egypt to condemn today’s attack.
Here are some eye-witness accounts from today’s attacks.
A woman injured in one of Thursday’s terror attacks recalled the moments of horror from her hospital bed, saying she pretended to be dead after terrorists fired at the car her husband was driving in order to escape being shot at again.
“I couldn’t move because I was afraid that the terrorist would see and shoot us again. There was blood on the floor, and I heard my husband gasping. I saw that his shirt was soaked in blood. I was afraid to call to him,” she said.
“We saw cars stopping. We were told that Egyptian soldiers were shooting. After a few minutes a military jeep came , and the soldiers told us to continue driving. But we didn’t understand them correctly. They told us to go back, but we continued straight ahead,” she said.
…”I prayed quietly that they would stop shooting at us,” the woman recalled. “The radio was on… The songs continued to play while we heard a fire exchange between the IDF and the terrorists. It was close to us.”
The couple was taken to Eilat’s Yoseftal Medical Center; later, the husband, who was critically injured, was airlifted to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba.
StandWithUshas issued a statement here is parts:
“These attacks signal an escalation of threats to Israel. With Egypt’s government in flux, Israel’s border with Egypt has become increasingly insecure. Hamas remains committed to using terrorism to fulfill the mission stated in its charter, to murder Jews and ‘obliterate’ Israel. Given these circumstances, President Abbas’ bid to have the UN recognize a Palestinian state is especially inappropriate and unrealistic. The Palestinians must first take on the responsibilities of statehood, such as enforcing law and order. Above all, the world should be as outraged as we are by these attacks and by the fact that Palestinian groups celebrate when Jewish children are murdered. Palestinian leaders must commit to removing the major obstacles to peace—ongoing terrorism and incitement to hatred. The international community should denounce this despicable attack, and demand that the Palestinians sincerely commit to peace,” stated StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein.
The Jerusalem Post has issued the following timeline of today’s events.
12:00 p.m. –Three terrorists open fire at Egged Bus 392 traveling on Road 12 between Eilat and Mitzpe Ramon. The terrorists infiltrated into Israel from Egypt wore military vests and were heavily armed with assault rifles, roadside bombs and suicide bomb belts. At least 10 passengers were injured.
12:20 p.m. – One of the terrorists opens fire at an empty bus that drives by and detonates an explosives belt he is carrying, killing himself and the bus driver. Another terrorist fires an RPG at an IAF helicopter but misses.
12:25 p.m. – One of the two remaining terrorists opens fire at a passing car, killing four people. An IDF jeep from the Golani Brigade arrives at the scene and runs over the terrorist. Another IDF jeep arrives and as the soldiers get out of the vehicle, the remaining terrorist opens fire, hitting the soldiers.
12:30-1:00 p.m. – IDF soldiers and members of the police’s elite YAMAM counter-terror unit locate the remaining terrorist. A gun battle ensues and the terrorist is killed.
1:30 p.m. – Two terrorists open fire at the troops from within Egyptian territory. The troops return fire and kill the terrorists. The Egyptian military reports to the IDF that its soldiers have killed two additional terrorists in the Sinai
3:00 p.m. – Defense Minister Ehud Barak claims that the terrorists originated in the Gaza Strip and that Israel will respond “forcefully and decisively.”
6:30 p.m. – Acting on intelligence provided by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), the Israeli Air Force strikes in the southern Gaza Strip killing several Palestinians, including the head of the Popular Resistance Committees and several other senior operatives.
7:00 p.m. – Shots are fired at soldiers along the border, likely from Egypt. One IDF soldier is seriously wounded and evacuated to Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba.
Eight Israelis are now dead as a result of today’s terrorist attacks.
The Palestinian Authority’s official website says that the people killed in Gaza, the heads of the Palestine Resistance Committee, were civilians.
The 8th Israeli who did is a legendary sniper in the Yamam, a elite police anti-terror unit. His name is Pascal Avrahami.
The most veteran sniper in the Israel Police’s elite anti-terror unit, YAMAM, was killed Thursday in the terrorist offensive in southern Israel.
The 49-year-old Pascal Avrahami left a wife, Sima, and three children aged 25, 20 and 18. His death brought the toll in Thursday’s terror assault up to eight.
The religious Avrahami was born in France and moved to Israel in 1977. He joined YAMAM in 1985 and was trained as a fighter and sniper. During his service he took part in numerous operations and received two citations for his bravery