An anti-tank missile shot from the Gaza Strip directly hit a school bus outside Kibbutz Sa'ad in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council on Thursday, injuring two people. Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the IDF to respond speedily and to attack using all means necessary.

An Israeli attack helicopter machine-gunned a target in Gaza City after the missile attack, for the first time since Operation Cast Lead. A Reuters correspondent said the sound of heavy fire from the helicopter was audible in the center of the city.

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IDF forces struck back at various locations throughout the strip. At least three people were killed and at least eight people, including a 4-year-old girl were injured in IDF and IAF strikes, Palestinian medics said.

An IAF F-16 warplane bombed a major Hamas security compound, rocking Gaza City with a big explosion and wounding at least one person there.

In the Negev attack, the 16-year-old was in critical condition after paramedics managed to resuscitate him. He was airlifted to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba where he was undergoing surgery. Soroka officials said that he was suffering from head injuries.

The bus driver was listed in light condition after being hit in the leg. They were the only people on the bus.

Forty-five rockets and mortar shells on Thursday afternoon were fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip in the span of three hours. Palestinian terror groups claimed that they had fired two longer-range rockets into Israel following the IDF strikes. Shortly after, the IDF's Iron Dome anti-rocket system was successfully activated for the first time, intercepting a Grad rocket fired towards Ashkelon.

Mortars and Kassam rockets continued to fall in the Eshkol, Sha'ar Hanegev and Hof Ashkelon Regional Councils through Thursday night.

An emergency information line was opened for the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council: 08-680-6450


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