The condition of an IDF soldier has significantly improved after he was critically injured Monday in a missile attack from Gaza.
Doctors at Beersheba’s Soroka hospital said Tuesday that the 19-year-old soldier, who was brought in with life-threatening injuries, had undergone two major operations and that his condition had subsequently improved.
The unnamed soldier was injured while standing outside a bus near Kibbutz Kfar Azza, when a Kornet anti-tank guided missile fired from the Gaza Strip struck the vehicle.
The soldier’s mother asked for prayers for her son’s recovery. She told Hadashot news that he was still in the intensive care unit at Soroka.
“I am asking that you pray for my son’s recovery and that my son opens his eyes,” she said. “We are hoping that he will [open his eyes] by this evening.”
Meanwhile, the driver of the bus said Tuesday that he was in “total shock” and struggling to recover emotionally from the attack, which marked the beginning of a significant flareup between Israel and Palestinian terror groups.
The 25-year-old driver, a resident of one of the Bedouin communities in the Negev region, works for a transportation company that had been hired by the IDF. He returned Tuesday to the hospital, even though he was released on Monday after receiving medical treatment.
“I’m in total shock, I still don’t know what’s happening with me,” he told Hadashot, adding that he was “trying to recall what happened yesterday.”
The driver’s relatives said he was under severe emotional stress and finding it hard to speak following the incident.
“What he manages to say is that he was driving soldiers,” one of them told Hadashot. “After they disembarked there was a big blast and since then he has tried and struggled to recollect that.”
On early Tuesday, the Hamas terror group published a video showing the bus being hit and erupting into flames.
The afternoon attack on the bus near the Gaza border touched off a massive flareup of violence that has seen more than 400 rockets fired at Israel and massive retaliatory airstrikes by Israel on Gaza, bringing the sides to the brink of war.
The attack, however, could have had a much higher injury or death toll. According to reports, the bus had been filled with soldiers minutes earlier, but was empty at the time it was hit.
The bus, which had no markings identifying it as military, had just pulled out of the Black Arrow memorial near Kibbutz Kfar Azza and was preparing to park, several kilometers from the Gaza border, when it was hit.
The attack on the bus came less than a day after an IDF special operations officer was killed in an operation gone awry that also killed seven Palestinian gunmen in the Strip. Following Sunday night’s incident, the Gaza-ruling terror group Hamas said “the blood of our righteous martyrs will not be wasted.”