A Hamas-filmed video captured rare anti-tank missile attack on an Israeli military bus near the Gaza border on Monday, which left one IDF soldier seriously wounded.
The video shows several Israeli army vehicles and a large number of soldiers standing near the bus at the time of the attack. This is the first time that Hamas has fired a Kornet anti-tank missile against an Israeli target since the 2014 war that Hamas and its allies in Gaza fought against Israel.
The Palestinian factions released a statement later on Monday, saying that "the factions' fighters succeeded in attacking a bus full of soldiers with a Kornet missile." The statement also claimed the attack resulted in the death and injuries of the soldiers on the bus. The Israeli army said in a statement, however, that one soldier was wounded.
The wounded soldier was rushed to Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva. The bus was traveling in the Sha'ar Hanegev region at the time. The 25-year-old driver of the bus suffered from shock.
The Korent is considered an advanced anti-tank missile that can penetrate Israel's Merkava Mark 4 tank. Hezbollah in Lebanon also boasts Kornet missiles. In the 2006 Second Labanon War Hezbollah hit 52 Israeli tanks, destroying five. In recent years, Hezbollah's anti-tank stockpile has significantly increased.
The incident was followed by rocket fire from Gaza on communities in southern Israel. The Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted dozens of the rockets. During the course of the day, the Israel Air Force attacked targets in Gaza belonging to Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the coastal enclave.
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The missile attack on the bus was one of the opening salvos that quickly escalated on Monday afternoon. By Monday evening, Gaza militants launched some 200 rockets at Israel, while the Israeli army struck more than 70 targets throughout the Gaza Strip. Three Palestinians were reportedly killed.
The current round of violence follows a clash Sunday evening in the strip with a special force of the Israeli army. An officer who has only been identified at Lt. Col. M. was killed in the incident in which another officer was wounded.