A massive explosion rocked a training camp belonging to Hamas in southern Gaza late Tuesday night. Medical officials and witnesses reported at least six operatives belonging to the Islamist group were wounded in the incident.
Fearing there may be others still trapped under heavy debris, Hamas' military wing said it dispatched earthmovers to the site, which was built on the ruins of an Israeli settlement near the town of Khan Younis.
Emergency response teams swarmed the scene of the disaster, the explosion having echoed loudly throughout the neighboring town. The origin of the explosion remains unclear at present time.
Dr. Moaiya Hassanain from the Palestinian Health Ministry said two of those wounded were in critical condition, and that all the men were Hamas operatives.
Last Friday five Palestinians were killed when a car exploded near the beachfront, in Gaza City. Two of those killed were senior commanders belonging to Hamas' military wing, and two others belonged to the lower ranks of the group. A young Palestinian girl was also killed in the explosion, which wounded 15 other Palestinians.
Hamas blamed rival Palestinian faction Fatah for the explosion, and rounded up hundreds of men loyal to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in response.
Two days earlier Palestinian gunmen detonated an explosive device near a popular café in central Gaza City. Several minutes later another bomb was set off near the home of Hamas member, Marwan Abu Rass. One man was killed in the attack – apparently the bomber himself.
On Saturday Hamas security forces raided the offices of Wafa – the Palestinian news agency – in the Strip, confiscating their computers.