Hamas “militants” in the Gaza Strip were conducting their usual morning routine of a healthy breakfast, invigorating tai chi, and firing mortars at Israeli civilians when they managed to hit a bus this morning. Early reports from Israel indicate it was a school bus. A 13-year-old boy was reported in critical condition, while the bus driver sustained moderate injuries.
The attack comes after Israeli planes “struck a vehicle travelling at the south of the Gaza Strip, killing three Hamas operatives, one of them a top commander in Hamas’ military wing” on Saturday, according to a report in Haaretz. The Israeli Defense Force says these peace-loving peace activists were peacefully planning to “kidnap Israelis over the upcoming Jewish holiday of Passover.”
Hamas vowed revenge for this “crime” and said Israel would “bear all the consequences.” It looks like thirteen-year-old children will be bearing some of those consequences.
Update: the Israelis are responding to this with remarkable speed and ferocity. The IDF has shelled the area from which the school bus attack originated, along with attacks into the Gaza Strip using F-16s and helicopter gunships. Reuters reports a 50-year-old Palenstinian man was killed in the attack. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak says he has ordered his military to “swiftly take all the necessary steps and respond to the attack.”
Update: there have been conflicting reports about the nature of weapon Hamas used in this terror attack, but it now appears that it was an anti-tank missile, not a mortar round. This is a significant detail, if your outrage meter was not already red-lined by the exploding school bus, because such missiles must be aimed much more carefully and deliberately.