Jerusalem: Israel will exact a "very heavy price" from anyone who attacks its civilians, Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu said, just hours after a spate of attacks killed seven in southern Israel.
"If the terror organisations think they can harm our
citizens without a response, Israel will make them pay a very
heavy price," he said in a televised address.
"I have laid down a principle: if you harm Israel, we will
respond immediately and very strongly."
The attacks, which took place on two desert roads some 15
kilometres north of Eilat, saw gunmen rake two buses and a car
with gunfire, then mount two other attacks with a roadside
bomb and a rocket-propelled grenade against at least two other
Netanyahu said Israel made good on his "principle" earlier
today when the air force launched a series of raids on targets
in southern Gaza, killing six people, including the heads of
the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), he said.
"The people who ordered the killing of our citizens... are
no longer alive," he said.
Palestinian medical sources said four of the dead were PRC
militants, while the other two were civilians, one of whom was
Israeli military and security officials said the men had
planned and organised Thursday`s attacks with the aim of
"kidnapping an Israeli civilian or soldier."
Israeli troops also hunted down seven Palestinians men who
carried out the attacks: two were shot dead in Israeli
territory, while four were killed on on the Egyptian side of
the border. A seventh man blew himself up, army officials