Seven people suffered gunshot wounds following a terrorist attack on Egged bus # 392 traveling south from Be'er Sheva towards Eilat from Mitzpe Ramon at midday Thursday (today). There is a single unconfirmed report that one person has died of his wounds, a security source said.
Five of the injured were admitted to Eilat's Yoseftal Medical Center in serious condition, and two more with light wounds following the attack. All were conscious while being treated at the scene by Magen David Adom medics and during evacuation to hospital.
Three unidentified terrorists ambushed the bus near the Ein Netafim junction close to the Ovdat military base on Route 12 as it was traveling about 20 kilometers (12 miles) northwest of the Red Sea resort town.
The terrorists reportedly passed the bus in their vehicle, then stopped the car and opened fire at the passengers in the bus before escaping in their car, possibly back to the Sinai Peninsula, from where security sources speculated the gunmen had infiltrated across the border into Israel.
At least one source reported that IDF soldiers engaged the terrorists in a shootout immediately following the attack. Most of the passengers on the bus were a number of Israeli soldiers heading to the resort town on leave, sources said.
IDF soldiers and local police have thrown a dragnet around the area and are searching for the terrorists, as IDF aircraft comb the area from the skies. All entrances to the city of Eilat have been sealed off temporarily to cut off any additional means of escape by preventing the terrorists from entering or leaving the city, in case they are still in the area.
Conflicting reports indicate there is a possibility the shots may have originated from across the border at a point from within the Sinai Peninsula. Egyptian security personnel are conducting a simultaneous manhunt for the perpetrators from the Sinai side of the border, Israeli defense sources said.