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Israel Retaliates Following Attacks Near Sinai

Police inspect an Israeli bus involved in a shooting attack along the border between Israel and Egypt in southern Israel, August 18, 2011

Israeli forces have killed at least 10 Palestinian militants in separate attacks after blaming them for a series of coordinated raids along the Israeli-Egyptian border that killed eight people and wounded 40 more.The dead include leaders of the Popular Resistance Committee, which the Israeli government accuses of being behind attacks in southern Israel that killed seven Israelis earlier in the day. Palestinian officials and residents say three blasts shook Gaza early Friday, including one that killed a 13-year-old boy.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went on national television, calling the attacks in southern Israel an increase in the terror front.

He says if there is someone who thinks Israel will accept this, they are wrong. When they harm the citizens of Israel, we react immediately and with force. He says those who gave the order to murder our citizens, and who hide in Gaza are dead.

The Israeli air force struck in Gaza a few hours after gunmen attacked a bus, several private cars and a military vehicle some 20 kilometers from the southern Israeli town of Eilat, a popular sea resort.

Israel officials said the attackers came from the Gaza Strip.

Hamas, the Palestinian movement which controls Gaza, denied responsibility for the attacks.

The Israeli military said most of the Israelis killed were in a private car attacked near Eilat.

The driver of another car that was hit by gunfire, Ahron Gorden, described to Israeli radio what he experienced.

He says he was traveling on the highway along Israel's border with Egypt. He was approaching an Israeli army checkpoint when he saw what he says looked like an Egyptian soldier lying on the ground. He says he thought the soldier was praying but then the man started shooting, destroying the windows of his car and frightening his children.

Israeli Special Forces were deployed and security forces closed roads around Eilat while troops pursued the gunmen.

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