Israeli policemen talk to a driver sitting in a bus that was ambushed near the city of Eilat as it was traveling near the border with Egypt on Aug. 18, 2011. (YEHUDA BEN ITAH/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

The airstrike killed several members of the Popular Resistance Committee, an armed Palestinian faction in Gaza’s southern strip, including the group’s chief.

An Israeli military source confirmed the airstrike in the town of Rafah to MSNBC news services.

Israeli soldiers and medical personnel transport a soldier on a stretcher who got injured during an ambush on a civilian bus north of the Red Sea resort of Eilat on August 18, 2011. (STRINGER/ISRAEL/REUTERS)

The militants were suspected of having crossed from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

The Israeli government blamed Gaza militants for the attacks. Hamas has denied any involvement.

The violence also raised concerns that Palestinian militants were exploiting instability in Egypt, which has increased since the ouster of longtime Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak.

On Twitter, supporters of Israel and Palestine sparred over who was in the right or wrong:

#Netanyahu: When Israeli citizens are being attacked, #Israel responds swiftly and forcefully.less than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® Favorite Retweet ReplyNetanyahu report

As occupying power, Israel does not have the right to murder and assassinate members of the occupied population at will. #israelCrimes #Gazaless than a minute ago via Twitter for Mac Favorite Retweet ReplyAli Abunimah