Palestinian Rockets Target Israeli School Bus

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SHA'AR HANEGEV REGIONAL COUNCIL - A 16-year-old boy was critically injured by an anti-tank missile that exploded near a school bus outside Kibbutz Sa'ad, shattering windows.

The bus driver also sustained shrapnel wounds to his leg and several people were treated for shock.

The boy was resuscitated at the scene of the attack and airlifted to the trauma unit at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva, where he underwent emergency surgery.

Moments before the missile struck, dozens of children had just gotten off the bus, which was traveling near Kibbutz Saad, about a mile and a half from the Gaza Strip.

Following the bus attack, Palestinians fired another 45 mortars and Kassam rockets and two Grad missiles on southern Israel.

For the first time ever, one of the Grads was successfully intercepted and destroyed by the Iron Dome missile defense system, though the IDF is still evaluating the system.

Immediately after the interception, Israeli aircraft scored a direct hit on the terror cell that launched the missile.

A mortar shell scored a direct hit on a house in Ein Hashlosha, damaging the home, but not injuring anyone.

Residents were ordered to stay in their homes and children were kept inside schools and kindergartens during the barrage. 

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he held Hamas responsible for all terrorist attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip and ordered the Israeli army to respond quickly to the attack on the school bus.

The IDF said it targeted a number of sites in the Gaza Strip. Palestinians reported one man killed and three injured in the Israeli response to the rocket fire.

There has been a marked increase in Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel in the last few weeks.

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