Three Palestinian fishermen were killed Sunday after a blast ripped through their boat off the Gaza shore, union officials said.
Nezar Ayyash, of the fishermen syndicate, said the anglers - two brothers and a cousin - were plying their trade off the coast of the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip when the explosion happened.
While the cause of the blast was not immediately clear, Palestinian media reports initially blamed the deadly incident on Israeli navy fire.
According to a statement by the IDF though, the Israeli military was not involved in the incident, as the navy's nearest vassals were located tens of miles away from the location of the explosion.
Minutes before the explosion, local media reported that Hamas, the terror group ruling the Gaza Strip, was test-firing rockets towards the sea.
The Hamas-run interior ministry in Gaza said it opened an investigation into the event.
It seems that the three were sailing on a beach in the central south of the Strip, where Hamas often practices.
About two weeks ago an IDF naval force fired and sank a vessel off the coast of the Gaza Strip, which was later identified as a vassal belonging to Hamas. No casualties were reported.
Hamas has been trying to instigate various terrorist attacks on Israeli territory via the sea in recent years, which caused the military to increase its enforcement around the coastal area of the Palestinian enclave.