By Ryan Jones
Israel has responded to Thursday's deadly terrorist assault near Eilat by wiping out the leadership of the terror group believed responsible.
Israeli aircraft on Thursday evening attacked installations in southern Gaza belonging to the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), a group affiliated with the ruling Hamas terrorist organization.
At least six PRC terrorists were killed, including group leader Kamal Nirab.
Israeli officials said intelligence had confirmed that Nirab was directly involved in planning and ordering Thursday's triple terrorist attack just north of Eilat.
PRC terrorists carried out those attacks, which left eight Israelis dead and dozens wounded, by crossing into the Egyptian Sinai and then infiltrating Israel near its southern tip.
In a televised address Thursday evening, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed the nation that those responsible for the shocking terrorist assault were "no longer living."
Israel continued its retaliatory action on Friday morning, with an aerial assault on Hamas targets in Gaza. Palestinian sources claimed collateral damage, including civilian casualties.
Hamas responded by firing long-range GRAD missiles at cities in southern Israel. One missile landed in the courtyard of a yeshiva (Jewish seminary) in the port city of Ashdod. Ten Jewish religious students were injured, two seriously.
Other missiles landed in open areas in and near the cities of Askhelon and Beersheva causing no damage or injuries.
Palestinian Authority officials blamed Israel for the whole mess, even though the escalating violence started with a Palestinian terrorist assault on Israeli civilians.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat accused Israel of using the Eilat terrorist attacks as a "pretext" to commit what he called "war crimes" against Gaza. Erekat did not consider the Eilat attacks - which targeted innocent, unarmed civilians, many on their way to a summer vacation - to be war crimes.
Continuous Palestinian missile blitz after Israel bombs 12 terrorist targets in Gaza - DEBKAfile
15 rockets fired from Gaza into Israel in 24 hour period - Jerusalem Post
Deadly attacks in Israel 'to avenge' bin Laden - WND (Aaron Klein)
Egyptian Cabinet calls emergency meeting to discuss situation in Sinai - Ahram Online
Israel-Gaza violence intensifies after gun attacks - Reuters
Blood in the Streets - CarolineGlick.com