Israel's military has confirmed launching air strikes into the Gaza Strip following a series of attacks on civilian passenger buses in southern Israel today that killed seven people.
An Israeli air strike reportedly killed the leader of an armed Palestinian faction, a top lieutenant, and three other members in the southern Gaza Strip, hours after Israel blamed gunmen from the territory for crossborder attacks.
The Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), a faction that often operates independently from Gaza's Islamist Hamas rulers, said its leader and its military chief had been killed in the strike.
Hours earlier, gunmen killed seven people in a triple attack in southern Israel.
Israel said the gunmen had come from the Gaza Strip through neighboring Egypt, a charge denied by Hamas.
The attacks came in quick succession near Israel's border with Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and appeared to have been coordinated.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at a news conference after the attacks that anyone who attacks Israel will pay "a very heavy price."
compiled from agency reports