A mortar shell fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel Thursday hit a bus, seriously wounding a teenage boy and injuring several others, Israeli police said.A 16 year old was in critical condition after that bus was hit. Moreover, the Jerusalem Post reports that it was an anti-tank missile fired at the bus - which would explain how and why it was easily hit. Luckily, there were just two people on board - the aformentioned 16-year-old, and the driver, who was also injured.
Israeli forces immediately struck back, shelling various locations across the Gaza Strip, killing a 50-year-old man and injuring at least six people, including a 4-year-old girl, Palestinian medics said.
Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said those wounded in the bus attack were being treated at the scene. The head of the Magen David Adom ambulance service told Israel Radio that helicopters were ferrying the worst injured to hospital.
Thursday's bloodshed followed a relative lull in cross border attacks between Gaza and Israel after a sudden spike in violence last month that left at least 16 Palestinians dead.
So, why then is the focus on the Palestinians killed in Gaza - many of whom are terrorists and those ultimately responsible for firing the rockets and mortars into Israel?
But for the Gazan terrorists firing those mortars, rockets, and missiles at Israel, Israel would not need to respond militarily to defend its citizens from the incessant attacks that emanate from Gaza on a daily basis by attacking smuggling tunnels that allow the terrorists to rearm and resupply, and their bases of operation where they plot further attacks.
And the threats keep on coming - Israel's Shin Bet arrested a Hamas cell in East Jerusalem. The cell was responsible for planning multiple attacks, including an attack with a pipe bomb that injured one person.
Moreover, I'm not sure how anyone can characterize the situation in Southern Israel as a lull or a relative lull in violence. Since the beginning of the year, dozens of rockets and mortars have been fired into Israel and it's a situation that continues day after day, week after week. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terror groups are hoping to restart their war against Israel, and are itching to pull the trigger at a time and place of their choosing.
Reuters is redefining a relative lull to indicate that even though a couple of rockets or mortars slam into Israel, this isn't a serious situation - even though every last one of those terrorists' rockets and mortars are directed with the intent to destroy property, murder, and maim. Shame on their reporting and focus on Israel's actions, rather than on the terrorists' actions that precipitate Israel's right to defend itself against further attacks.
Israel's Iron Dome missile/rocket defense system apparently carried out a successful intercept of a terrorists' missile earlier today. That follows Israel's military carrying out airstrikes and other attacks against terror targets in Gaza:
After hitting a student bus traveling through Shaar Hanegev Regional Council Thursday, critically wounding a 16-year old boy and lightly injuring the driver, terrorists in Gaza fired some 45 rockets and mortar shells at Israel. No further injuries were reported.The Iron Dome system isn't foolproof, and it isn't cheap, but it does provide a measure of security for Israelis living within range of the missiles and mortars. If the system manages to intercept enough of Hamas' and Islamic Jihad's missiles, expect the terrorists to once again shift tactics in their ongoing attempts to murder and maim Israelis.
The IDF immediately began bombing targets in Gaza in response to the onslaught. Palestinian medics said a 50-year old man was killed in the airstrikes and a number of other people injured, including a child.
Ashkelon's Iron Dome system was set up just Monday, with soldiers running extensive tests to make sure it was functioning properly. Another system was set up earlier in Beersheba.
The defense establishment decided to place the system earlier than planned due to the recent escalation of violence in the south. It has already been set up in Haifa, and in the coming weeks officials plan to put it in place in central Israel as well.