Israeli School Bus Hit by Missile
On the afternoon of April 7, 2011, Hamas fired a guided anti-tank missile at an Israeli school bus in the western Negev.
A few minutes before the attack dozens of children got off the bus, leaving only the driver and a 16 year-old boy, Daniel Wipliech. Both were wounded. Daniel was critically wounded by shrapnel which hit every part of his body, and the driver suffered minor injuries. The missile, an advanced laser-guided anti-tank missile, was fired at an indisputably civilian target, viz. a school bus which, like other school buses around the world, was painted yellow. Hamas' Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack on the school bus.
Following that event, over the weekend there was an escalation of approximately 120 rockets and mortar shells fired at Israeli population centers in southern Israel, including Beersheba, Ashdod and Ashqelon, the three largest cities in the south. Eight rockets were intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome aerial defense system, preventing direct hits on cities in the south. After a relatively quiet night, intermittent rocket and mortar shell fire attacks continued on April 10.
Between April 7 and 10 a total of 58 rocket and 67 mortar shell hits were identified in Israeli territory (similar to the daily numbers during Operation Cast Lead).
In retaliation, Israeli aircraft, armed forces and infantry attacked a series of terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip. Among them were terrorist squads on their way to launch rockets and mortar shells into Israel, terrorist networks and posts, tunnels used to smuggle weapons into the Gaza Strip and sites for producing and stockpiling weapons.
Urgent Prayer Request
Please pray for 16 year-old Daniel Wipliech, as his condition has worsened since the attack. According to Professor Shaul Sofer, Chief of Pediatric ICU at The Soroka Medical Center, "the injury is mortal and we don't use that term often. He was already in critical condition at the scene of the attack, and since his arrival at the hospital there has been no improvement, five days after the event." Pray for Daniel’s healing and for God’s comfort to sustain his family as they try to cope with this terrible and senseless tragedy.
Photo by Adi Israel, courtesy of NRG