Security forces standing next to an attacked bus 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Lior Grundman)
The following is a timeline of the multi-stage terror attack carried out in southern Israel Thursday afternoon:
• Noon – Three men open fire at Egged bus No. 392 traveling on Highway 12 between Eilat and Mitzpe Ramon. The terrorists, who infiltrated from Egypt, wore military vests and were armed with assault rifles, roadside bombs and suicide bomb belts. At least 10 passengers were wounded.
• 12:20 p.m.– One of the terrorists opens fire at a bus driving by with no passengers and detonates an explosives belt, killing himself and the bus driver. Another infiltrator fires a rocket-propelled grenade at an IAF helicopter but misses.
• 12:25 p.m.– One of the two attackers still alive opens fire at a
passing car, killing four people. He then opens fire at another vehicle,
killing a female driver. A jeep from the Golani Brigade arrives and
runs over one of the terrorists. Another IDF jeep arrives and as the
soldiers get out of the vehicle, the last terrorist opens fire, hitting
the soldiers and killing 22-year-old Golani St.
Sgt. Moshe Naftali, from Ofra.
• 12:30-1 p.m.– Soldiers and members of the police’s elite YAMAM
Counterterrorism Unit locate the remaining attacker, a gun battle ensues
and the terrorist is killed.
• 1:30-2:30 p.m.– Two other terrorists open fire at the troops from
within Egyptian territory. The troops return fire and kill the gunmen.
The Egyptian military reports to the IDF that its soldiers have killed two additional terrorists in Sinai.
• 3 p.m.– Defense Minister Ehud Barak says that the attackers originated
in the Gaza Strip and that the military will respond “forcefully and
• 6:30 p.m.– Acting on intelligence provided by the Shin Bet (Israel
Security Agency), the Israel Air Force strikes in the southern Gaza
Strip, killing six Palestinians including the head of the Popular
Resistance Committees and several other senior operatives.
• 7 p.m.– Shots are fired at soldiers along the border, likely from
Egypt. One soldier is seriously wounded and evacuated to Soroka
University Medical Center in Beersheba.
• 9 p.m.– The Iron Dome system intercepts a Katyusha rocket fired toward Ashkelon.