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Explosion in Gaza injures 2 at reported Hamas military site

One man critical, another moderately hurt in second such incident this month

Dov Lieber is The Times of Israel's Arab affairs correspondent.

Palestinian youth show their skills during a graduation ceremony as part of a training camp run by the Hamas movement on January 29, 2015 in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip. (AFP photo/Said Khatib)
Palestinian youth show their skills during a graduation ceremony as part of a training camp run by the Hamas movement on January 29, 2015 in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip. (AFP photo/Said Khatib)

Two men were injured by an explosion in the Gaza Strip on Monday, the Hamas-run health ministry said, in what appeared to be an accident at one of the terror group’s military sites.

Palestinian media in the Strip said the explosion occurred in a site belonging to Hamas’s military wing, but gave no further details.

Gaza Health Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qidre said in a statement that the “two men sustained injuries, one critically and the other moderately, resulting from an accident in Gaza.”

In a break from past statements about others accidental explosions in the territory, Qidre did not give an approximate location for the site of the incident.

On April 3, an accidental explosion in a reported Hamas military site west of Rafah injured three men.

Members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the militant wing of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, patrol during a rally to mark Land Day near the Israeli border with east Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, March 30, 2017. (AFP/SAID KHATIB)
Members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the militant wing of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, patrol during a rally to mark Land Day near the Israeli border with east Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, March 30, 2017. (AFP/SAID KHATIB)

Hamas, which is openly committed to the destruction of the Jewish state, is engaged in training its fighters, building rockets and digging tunnels in preparation for another round of conflict with Israel.

Last year, 22 members of Hamas’s armed wing were killed while “preparing equipment,” the majority in a string of tunnel collapses, the terror group said.

Gaza terrorists have dug dozens of tunnels, many reaching under the border into Israel, to launch attacks inside the Jewish state. While Israel destroyed many of them during the summer 2014 war, it says Hamas has since been rebuilding the network, and Hamas has bragged about doing so.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008 and Gaza has been under a blockade for a decade, imposed by Israel and Egypt, who say its purpose is to to prevent the smuggling of weapons and materials that can be used for war.

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