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The Deir al-Balah blast
6 Palestinians killed in Gaza blast, Hamas blames Israel
Explosion rocks Deir al-Balah in central Gaza; 4 of 6 victims members of Hamas's military wing, per Palestinian reports; military wing blames Israel for blast, calls it 'deplorable Zionist crime'; IDF disavows responsibility.
Six Palestinians were killed Saturday evening in an explosion in the city of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza strip. Four of the casualties belonged to Hamas's military wing.

 

 

Gaza media reported the explosion was a "work accident," meaning the terrorists were killed when explosives they were dealing with went off.

 

An explosion in Deir al-Balah claimed the lives of 6 Palestinians, 4 of whom were reportedly members of Hamas's military wing
An explosion in Deir al-Balah claimed the lives of 6 Palestinians, 4 of whom were reportedly members of Hamas's military wing
 

While Palestinians searched the area for survivors, Hamas's military wing blamed Israel for the blast, calling the incident in a statement a "deplorable Zionist crime" perpetrated against its fighters.

 

"During a complicated security and intelligence operation conducted by Qassam Brigades to investigate a serious and a grave security incident conducted by the Zionist enemy against Palestinian resistance, a deplorable crime took place against our Mujahideen in the area of Zawayda in central Gaza Strip," it said.

 

Hamas provided no further details.

  

One of the victims of the explosion, as per Palestinian reports, was a commander of an engineering unit in the central strip division, while another was a communications commander for the same division.

 

Smoke rising from the blast
Smoke rising from the blast

 

A Gaza source told Ynet, meanwhile, that the casualties were members of an engineering group that attempted to dismantle an Israeli rocket that had not detonated. As they were working to defuse it, it went off, he added.

 

The blast rocked Gaza near 7:30pm, with Reuters television capturing a pillar of smoke rising above the village of Zawayda near the coast of Gaza, far from the border with Israel where tensions have escalated in recent weeks.

 

The explosion's aftermath
The explosion's aftermath

 

Denying any culpability for the explosion and consequent deaths, "The IDF is not involved in this incident in any way," a military spokesman said.

 

Reuters contributed to this report.

 


First published: 05.05.18, 23:13
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