Two people, including a 16-year-old boy, have been seriously wounded after anti-tank missile sent from the Gaza Strip hit a moving school-bus near Kibbutz Sa’ad, in Southern Israel.
The teenager was left with multiple body and head injuries and required surgery. Injuries were minimised because the bus, which had just dropped off 50 pupils, was only carrying the driver and one passenger at the time.
Officials said 16 mortar shells were fired into the Western Negev in the hour after the attack.
The IDF retaliated with air strikes on Hamas targets following the attack. Palestinian sources said a 50-year-old had been killed.
An Israeli spokesperson said: "This shooting at a clearly-marked, bright-yellow school bus leaves no doubt regarding the deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians by Palestinians.
"Today’s despicable attack reminds us that it is imperative for Israel to search all cargo entering the Gaza Strip, such as on the intended new IHH flotilla to Gaza."
In recent weeks Hamas terrorists have stepped up attacks on Israel, firing Grad rockets and mortar shells at residential areas including the city of Ashkelon. Israeli forces have carried out a series of air strikes in response.
Earlier this week Israel's General Security Service revealed that terrorist attacks on Israelis had more than doubled in the last month.