Israeli forces stand near a bus after it was attacked 30 km north of the Red Sea resort of Eilat, on August 18, 2011
Source: Press TV
The Gaza-based Hamas government has dismissed Israeli claims, accusing resistance fighters in the Gaza Strip of organizing the deadly shooting attacks in southern Israel.
"The Palestinian government denies the accusations made by [Israeli Defense Minister Ehud] Barak about the operation in Eilat and affirms that there is no relation between the Gaza Strip and what happened near Eilat," Hamas spokesman Taher al-Nunu told AFP.
At least six people were killed and dozens injured on Thursday, in attacks on two vehicles near the Red Sea resort of Eilat in southern Israel.
Armed men opened fire on an Egged bus with Israeli soldiers onboard as it was travelling from the Israeli city of Beer Sheva to Eilat, near the Egyptian border.
An anti-tank rocket was also fired at another bus and a military patrol was also hit by several explosive devices detonated on its way.
Following the attacks, Barak called the blockaded Gaza Strip the source of multiple attacks, and vowed Israel would respond with full force.
He said Thursday that the source of combined terrorist attacks that took place earlier in the day was the Gaza Strip.
"The incident shows the weakening Egyptian grip on Sinai and the widening operation of terrorists there. The source of these terror acts is in Gaza and we will act against them with full force."
Meanwhile, Egypt's South Sinai Governor Khaled Fouda denied reports that the gunmen had opened fire on Israeli vehicles from Sinai.
"The South Sinai governor denied there was any gunfire from Taba towards Eilat port," state television said in reference to the Egyptian Red Sea resort across the border from Eilat.