Two injured by Gaza mortar, Israel hits back

Jerusalem — A mortar shell fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel Thursday hit a bus, seriously wounding a teenage boy and injuring several others, Israeli police said.

Israeli forces immediately struck back, shelling various locations across the Gaza Strip, killing a 50-year-old man and injuring at least six people, including a 4-year-old girl, Palestinian medics said.

Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said those wounded in the bus attack were being treated at the scene. The head of the Magen David Adom ambulance service told Israel Radio that helicopters were ferrying the worst injured to hospital.

Thursday's bloodshed followed a relative lull in cross border attacks between Gaza and Israel after a sudden spike in violence last month that left at least 16 Palestinians dead.

Israel and Gaza's Islamist Hamas rulers had signaled that they were ready to return to a de facto ceasefire which has kept the border relatively quiet since the end of the December 2008-January 2009 Gaza war.

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