Crashed Israeli drone killed fishermen: Hamas

Palestinian authorities in Gaza say three fishermen who died in an offshore blast last Sunday came into contact with an Israeli drone that had fallen into the sea and exploded in their net.

The Interior Ministry, which is run by Islamist militant group Hamas in Gaza, claimed that parts of an Israeli quadcopter drone that carried explosives were discovered in the wreckage.

Eyad Al-Bozom is a spokesman for the ministry:

"They were killed due to high explosive device that was installed on an Israeli quadcopter drone which was hung up in their net, and it was blown up as the fishermen were lifting their nets."

Bozom says the drone may have been in the water since an Israeli attack on a Palestinian naval craft on February 22.

The incident came at a time when Palestinian militants have been test-firing rockets into the sea, and a Gaza-based human rights group, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, previously said the fishing boat may have been hit by accident.

An Israeli military spokeswoman had no immediate comment.

At the time of the blast, the Israeli military had denied having any involvement.