IAF strikes Hamas targets after missile hits school bus

Aircraft bomb total of 13 targets; Hamas orders all terrorist factions to halt fire; Palestinians report 5 killed, 33 injured.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
April 8, 2011 08:18
1 minute read.
Inspecting rubble after IAF air strike in Gaza

Air strike in Gaza strip_311. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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The 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.

After 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.

In 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.

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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."

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