Boy Hurt in Gaza Rocket Attack on Israeli Bus Dies of His Wounds

16-year-old Daniel Viflic dies after Palestinian militants launch rocket at Israeli school bus earlier this month, which sparked an escalation in cross-border fire.

The teenager who was critically wounded after Gaza militants launched an anti-aircraft missile at a school bus in southern Israel earlier this month succumbed to his wounds Sunday.

16-year-old Daniel Viflic died in the Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva after his condition seriously deteriorated last week.

Bus strike from Gaza - Assayag - April 7, 2011
Ilan Assayag

The missile hit the bus traveling near Kibbutz Sa'ad just moments after it had dropped off the rest of the school children, wounding Viflic and the bus driver, who was moderately wounded by shrapnel wounds in his leg.

"Sadly, Daniel passed away this afternoon," said Professor Shaul Sofer, the director of the intensive care unit at the Soroka Medical Center. "It wasn't a surprise for us. He arrived in critical condition and shortly afterward his brain stopped functioning. Due to the sensitive nature of the event, we continued treatments despite knowing that he had no chance of recovery."

Yitzhak Viflic, Daniel's father, thanked the doctors and the supporters of his family. "Daniel fought but passed away calmly. I am positive he is in a good place now."

Viflic was a resident of Beit Shemesh and studied in a yeshiva there. When he was wounded, he was on his way to the western Negev to visit his grandmother.

Following the bus attack, cross-border fire between Gaza and Israel seriously escalated. Palestinian militants fired dozens of rockets into southern Israel and IDF forces launched numerous attacks on targets in the Gaza Strip.