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JERUSALEM (AP) — An anti-tank missile fired from the Gaza Strip struck a school bus in southern Israel Thursday, wounding two people, including one critically, Israeli officials said, prompting the fiercest Israeli retaliation on the coastal territory since a broad military offensive two years ago.
Israel unleashed airstrikes and tank fire against Hamas targets across the border, killing three people and wounding 33 others, including four critically, said Palestinian health official Adham Abu Salmiya.
He said one dead man was a 50-year-old civilian who was sitting outside his home when he was struck by tank fire. Two other men, in their 20s, were killed near the southern Gaza town of Rafah. It was unclear if they were civilians or militants.
The sudden outbreak of violence illustrated the fragile situation along the Israel-Gaza border, where small bouts of fighting can quickly escalate into heavy-scale warfare.
After two years of relative calm, tensions have been rising between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza over the past few weeks. For Israel, Thursday's attack was the most serious of this period.
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