A small al-Qaida-linked group based in the Gaza Strip hailed on Friday an attack in the South near Egypt that killed eight, and said Israel should expect more similar attacks.

The Tawheed and Jihad group also mourned the leader of the Popular Resistance Committees who died in an IAF strike on Thursday that also killed a nine-year-old Palestinian boy.

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A number of other PRC members were also killed in the retaliatory IAF air strike including the head of the terror group Kamal Nirab, who the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said had personally directed and planned the attack.

"We in the Tawheed and Jihad group bless these blessed arms that pounded the fortifications of the vendeta-filled Jewish enemy in the so-called Eilat area in southern occupied Palestine," the group said in a statement posted on the Internet.

It said the attack had sent Israel and "their border guards in the Egyptian army" a message that Egypt has joined the struggle against what it called "the enemies of God."

During the IAF attack on Thursday, another man was killed and identified as Amas Hamed, commander of the PRC’s military wing and a resident of Rafah. The Shin Bet said that Hamed was involved in the abduction of IDF soldier Gilad Schalit in June 2006 and oversaw numerous attacks against Israel including suicide bombings and rocket attacks.

Two other known PRC terrorists, including one who was also involved in Schalit’s abduction, were also killed in the air strike.

“The terrorists were directly involved in the attacks along the Israeli-Egyptian border,” a security official said.

Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.

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