Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hamas Escalation: Precision Anti-Tank Missile Hits Israeli School Bus

More News You (Mostly) Don’t Get In Sweden
Update note: This post was written on Friday afternoon--due to technical glitches we are posting only now.  Since then Ynetnews reports that over 120 rockets and mortar shells were fired from Gaza over the weekend, including a Grad missile fired today.  The Iron Dome defense system knocked out a number of incoming missiles, but one rocket hit a power cable causing a blackout for several communities in the strike zone.

Yesterday afternoon Reuters, the Jerusalem Post and other sources reported that an anti-tank missile was fired at a school bus near Kibbutz Saad, about 2.5 km from Gaza. Only one student remained on the bus, otherwise many children would have been casualties of the attack. The16-year-old boy is still in critical condition with severe head injuries; the driver and others were also injured.
Articles by three leading Swedish newspapers on this attack were virtually identical. (The Local had no coverage.) Aftonbladet, Svenska Dagbladet, and Dagens Nyheter all carried the same headline: “Israel shot down rockets”. In other words, they buried the story of the school bus attack under a leader on the Iron Dome defense system, which is designed to counter short-range missiles which are routinely fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza at Israel’s civilians. An Iron Dome battery has been put in place just south of Ashkelon and another near Beersheva, just as increasing numbers of rockets are slamming Israel’s south.  While the Swedish reports claim that two rockets were taken down by the Iron Dome, other media note only one Grad missile targeting civilians in the South was shot down.  All Swedish reports omit the folllowing item covered by the JPost:

“Immediately after the attack, Palestinians fired more than 45 mortar shells and Katyusha and Kassam rockets into Israel.”

Swedish media clearly subordinated the attack on the school bus to inflated reportage on Israel’s defense capacity which was portrayed aggressively. The TT-generated reporting ignored the barrage of smaller, but also dangerous rocket fire.

Swedish press misreporting also includes describing the hit on the school bus as a grenade attack. But the school bus was not hit with a simple thrown grenade, or a short-range rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) nor with the very widely-used armor-piercing Swedish- made Bofors AT4, which has a 300-meter range.

In fact, as we noted, the bus was hit 2.5 km from the Gaza border; according to an unnamed military source, the weapon was identified as a Russian-made Kornet guided anti-tank missile with a range of up to 5.5 km and an accuracy of 5 meters or less. According to the JPost:

“IDF officers said that the attack – the first time an anti-tank missile was fired deep into Israel, and, officers believe, deliberately targeting the school bus – ‘crossed all red lines’…The IDF had intelligence about the attack, which was carried out in retaliation for the bombing of a car last Saturday in southern Gaza carrying senior Hamas operatives planning attacks against Israelis visiting Sinai.”

Here are more key details omitted in Swedish reports:
·         Israeli citizens in the area were ordered to stay home in protected rooms
·         At least one home sustained a direct mortar hit
·         During barrages, pupils were forced to remain in safe rooms at kindergartens and schools
·         Armored buses were needed to take pupils home
·         Certain roads were sealed off due to mortar fire
·         Under army escort, teams of mental health professionals were brought in to help residents cope with the attacks
Once again, the Swedish media has managed to ignore increasing attacks on Israeli civilians carried out by terrorists in Hamas-controlled Gaza. Under these conditions, Israel has no choice but to target Hamas terrorists and their weapons shipments. But given the way the Swedish government-supported media reports these events, Swedes will yet again blame Israel for defending its civilians against terrorists who attack Israeli schoolchildren with advanced weapons.

By Chanah Shapira 


  1. Greetings from Israel. Most media sources neglected to mention that 750,000 Israelis in the south of Israel spend this Shabbat in bomb shelters. And of course, the Arab league is demanding the UN Security Council impose a No-Fly zone over Gaza and open the borders--I guess Hamas needs more weapons. Thanks for printing the truth--there is so little of it out there!