Jerusalem, April 7 - A projectile fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza hit a bus carrying Israeli civilians today, injuring three people, including a young boy. The driver is reported to be in critical condition. The 13 year old has serious head wounds and medics are fighting to save his life.
As many as 50 children had been on the bus as it made its way from a regional middle school to drop them at their homes.
Alon Schuster, head of the Shaar haNegev regional authority, said the bus had been completely destroyed and confirmed that a teenage boy was seriously wounded.
The driver was also injured.
“The bus was heading from Nahal Oz to the school, and only one child and the driver were left on the bus, and they were hurt,” said Yenina Banea, a local resident. “The other kids had just gotten off.
“We are all in shelters and hear bombing around us. Until two minutes ago (4:28 pm Israel time) we kept hearing bombs, but I didn’t know if it’s in Israel or in Gaza.
All the kids are in shelters,” she said.
Minutes later there were reports of a direct hit on a home in the Israeli community of Ein Hashlosha. No further details were immediately available.
The first mortar or anti-tank missile was launched at Kibbutz Saad close to the Gaza-Israel border, as children were returning from school.
178 mortars and rockets were launched from Gaza at Israel so far this year.
Residents in the area have been ordered into their bomb shelters.
"Hamas is responsible for any strikes that originate in Gaza," said Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak.