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Friday, April 8, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Hamas fires anti-tank missile at Israeli school bus

TEL AVIV — The Hamas regime has begun using its arsenal of advanced anti-tank guided missiles against civilian targets in Israel.


At least two Israelis were injured, one critically, when a Hamas squad fired an anti-tank missile toward a school bus on April 7, Middle East Newsline reported. The bus was traveling along a road in southern Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip.

This marked the first time that Hamas fired its Russian-origin ATGMs toward an Israeli civilian target. So far, Hamas has deployed its AT-14 Kornet anti-tank missile, with a range of 5.5 kilometers, against Israeli military targets.

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Hamas reported the attack on Israel but said mortars had been fired. Israel's military said Palestinian gunners also fired at least 16 mortars into the western Negev desert.

"The Israel Defense Forces hold the Hamas terrorist organization solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip," the Israeli military said.

Hours later, Hamas announced a ceasefire amid Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip. Hamas said the ceasefire would be observed by all Palestinian militias in the Gaza Strip.

Officials said the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has blocked ground military operations in the Gaza Strip. They acknowledged that Israel's response to Palestinian missile, mortar and rocket strikes was limited to air attacks on suspected targets in the Gaza Strip.

"We hope this situation will be contained," Netanyahu said.

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