Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu responded swiftly to the killing of eight of its citizens, including that of 22-year-old Staff Sergeant Moshe Naftali, in a series of coordinated attacks on Israeli vehicles in southern resort city of Eilat.
We have a principle - when Israeli citizens are harmed, we react at once and with force, Netanyahu said on Thursday, speaking on Israeli TV.
He said the six Palestinians allegedly involved in the attack on Israelis and suspected to be members of Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), were killed in an air raid, which included PRC head Kamal al-Nairab and military chief Immad Hammad, reports said.
The PRC was founded in September 2000, the same month in which a brutal terror war (sometimes known as the Second Intifada) was launched that claimed more than a thousand Israeli lives. The PRC is a coalition of various armed Palestinian factions, which vehemently oppose the conciliatory approach of the Palestinian Authority and Fatah towards Israel.
Active in the Gaza Strip, the military wing of the PRC is the al-Naser Salah ad-Din Brigades. Refusing any form of reconciliation with Israel, the PRC acts as a sub-contractor for Iranian elements in Lebanon and within the Hezbollah, carrying out terror attacks against Israelis in return for funds, Israel Defense Forces alleged in a statement.
The PRC is also funded and supported directly by Hamas, said Israel. By allowing the PRC to operate as an ostensibly independent proxy, Hamas is able to cause terror attacks against Israelis while maintaining an official stance of restraint. In addition to monthly funding, Hamas also provides the PRC with weapons and battle training.
Terror Attacks Against Israelis by the PRC:
--June 21, 2009: An IDF force on routine patrol identified four IEDs placed along the border fence near Kissufim (central Gaza Strip). As the IEDs were being disarmed, operatives fired two mortar shells and small arms at the force.
--July 5, 2009: Three mortar shells were fired at an IDF patrol near the Sufa crossing in the southern Gaza Strip.
--July 23, 2009: A group of Israelis working near the Sufa crossing came under fire. After the incident, fire was opened at an IDF force that was patrolling the area.
--Jan. 1, 2010: Four mortar shells were fired at the village of Kerem Shalom and a rocket was fired at Kissufim.
--Mar. 1, 2010: An anti-tank rocket was fired at an IDF force conducting a sweep near the security fence in the Beit Lahiya region (northern Gaza Strip).
--May 21, 2010: During a routine IDF patrol near the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip, an IDF tracker was shot and seriously wounded by sniper fire.
--July 30, 2010: A 122-mm Grad rocket landed in the city of Ashkelon. A local civilian was treated for shock. It was the first standard rocket fired in over a year and a half.
Incidents Past Thursday, Aug.18, 2011:
--Egged Bus #392, en route to the popular resort destination of Eilat, was ambushed by PRC terrorists, who opened fire on the bus's passengers, injuring fourteen.
--Almost simultaneously, a bomb tore through another civilian bus, killing the driver.
--Sisters Flora Gaz and Shula Karlinsky and their husbands were on their way home from Eilat when they were murdered by PRC terrorists who ambushed them and fired an anti-tank missile at their car.
--PRC terrorists then shot and killed Staff Sergeant Moshe Naftali and Chief Warrant Officer Paskal Abrahami.
Source: Israel Defense Forces