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Israel Launches Air Strikes Into Gaza After Seven Killed In Bus Attacks


A TV grab shows the damaged passenger bus after it was attacked near the Egyptian border
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