Air strike in Gaza strip_311.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Israel Air Force struck a building used for terror activities and three smuggling tunnels in in the Gaza Strip overnight Thursday after Hamas announced an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza
Strip in an effort to reign in growing escalations.
consulting with various other Palestinian terrorist factions in Gaza and
other international Arab officials, Hamas said that the cease-fire went
into effect at 11 p.m. Thursday.
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Hamas reportedly ordered all armed factions in Gaza to halt fire into Israel.
Earlier Thursday, the Hamas military wing, the Izzadin Kassam Brigades, claimed responsibility for firing a Kornet anti-tank missile at a children's schoolbus
near Kibbutz Saad in the Sha'ar Hanegev regional council, which left a
16-year-old in critical condition and the driver in light condition.
The attack was "the first response to the continuing crimes of the occupation," a Hamas statement said.
response to the attack, the IDF spokesperson said that the air force
had struck nine targets in the Gaza Strip and that artillery forces had struck the area from where the anti-tank missile was fired.
Five Palestinians were killed and 33 injured in the strikes, Palestinian medical sources reported.
Speaking at the IDF's Southern Command earlier Thursday night, Defense Minister
Ehud Barak spoke about the school bus attack and called it a "very serious event that hit deep into Israeli
territory from deep within the Gaza Strip. That is something that we
cannot accept," he added.
Commenting on IDF, IAF and artillery strikes on Gaza, the defense minister said: "The actions being taken right now are
a response to [the attack] and they will continue as long as necessary
in order to make clear that things like this cannot continue."
The responses by the IDF are both purposeful and effective, Barak said,
adding that, "We see Hamas as responsible for everything originating in
Gaza, and we expect that Hamas will understand what is allowed, and of
course, what is forbidden."