Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired three rockets at the western Negev on Sunday, one of whiche exploded next to a schoolbus carrying children.

Two of the rockets, fired Sunday afternoon, hit populated areas in Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council.

There were no injuries in either of the strikes. The first rocket landed near Sapir College, damaging a local construction site.

The second Qassam struck near a local gas station, causing damage to the school bus. There were no casualties reported, but several people were treated for shock.

Earlier Sunday a Qassam rocket fired from Gaza hit an open area in the western Negev.

On Friday, Israeli civilian Jimmy Kdoshim, 48, was killed by a mortar shell fired by Hamas militants. Kdoshim was struck while tending the garden of his home on Kibbutz Kfar Aza.

At least 21 Qassam rockets fired from the Gaza Strip struck the western Negev on Saturday, lightly hurting five people.

Hamas man killed in Gaza blast

On Sunday morning, the militant group Hamas said that one of its members had been killed in an explosion along Gaza's fence with Israel.

The Islamic group's military wing said a man was killed, and another wounded, during a holy mission. Such language is used when explosives meant for an attack on Israel explode prematurely.

The dead Hamas man was named as Osama al-Aftal.

The Israel Defense Forces issued a statement clarifying troops were not operating in the area at the time of the explosion early Sunday.

Fighting has escalated since an Israeli civilian was killed in a mortar shell attack on southern Israel on Friday. In retaliation, Israeli forces fired missiles that killed five Hamas militants.

Troops arrest three infiltrators

On Sunday afternoon, Israel Defense Forces troops arrest three Palestinians who infiltrated the west Negev from Gaza.

The three had crossed through a sunflower field near Kibbutz Be'eri.

Troops are still combing the area in search of additional infiltrators.