JERUSALEM, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Thursday evening said Israel would hunt down the perpetrators of the triple attacks near Eilat earlier in the day.
"The people who gave the order to kill our citizens, and hid in Gaza -- are not longer alive," Netanyahu said at a brief press conference held at local time 20:30 (1730 GMT).
Shortly earlier, Israeli military launches reprisal strikes in Rafah in southern Gaza Strip. Palestinian sources said that five Palestinians were killed in the strike, among them were three members of the Popular Resistance Committees, including the armed group's leader.
In a combined string of attacks on a civilian bus, a military patrol and a private vehicle in southern Israel on midday Thursday, militants killed seven Israelis and wounded dozens of others.
"When Israeli citizens are hurt, we retaliate forcefully without delay," said the Israeli prime minister at the press conference.
Chief Israeli military spokesman, Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, told reporters that the Israeli army and defense officials are still weighing further actions, refusing to specify whether Israel will continue pinpoint attack upon Gaza.