A Hamas leader has denied that the terrorist organisation was responsible for today's deadly triple attack on Israel this morning, but said that the attackers were worthy of praise.
At least five people are believed to have died after armed attackers targeted three separate sites in the south of Israel, near Eilat.
In what IDF spokesman Avital Leibowitz described as "a combined terrorist attack", dozens of people were wounded.
Hamas leader Ahmad Yousef told the DPA news agency: "I don't think Hamas is behind these attacks, but we praise them since they were against soldiers."
He also told al-Jazeera that Eilat was a tactical place to strike and added: "Since the whole political process is frozen, military escalation is the logical development."