ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 143

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Explosion in Gaza injures 3 at reported Hamas military site

Online pictures show black smoke rising near Rafah from apparent training accident

Dov Lieber is a former Times of Israel 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)

Three men were injured by an explosion near the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah on Monday, the Hamas-run health ministry said, in what appeared to be an accident at a terror training camp.

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

Gaza Health Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qidre said in a statement that “three men sustained varied levels of injuries resulting from an accident near Tel a-Sultan, west of Rafah.”

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

The Palestinian news site Palinfo posted a picture on Twitter it said was smoke rising into the sky from the location of the explosion.

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 against the Jewish state; Israel destroyed many of them during the devastating 2014 war with Hamas. 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 an Israeli blockade for a decade, imposed by Israel and Egypt to try to prevent it importing weaponry.

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