GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — An explosion ripped through a Hamas militant site in the central Gaza Strip on Thursday, Palestinian authorities said, killing one militant and seriously wounding another.
The Gaza-based interior ministry did not reveal the cause of the blast but said it killed Ashraf Hussein, a member of Hamas’ military wing, the Qassam Brigades. The Qassam Brigades acknowledged that Hussein was killed in what the group described as an accidental explosion.
There was no information about what kind of militant facility was affected in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza Strip, or about the extent of damage caused. Gaza's Hamas rulers have a number of training sites and underground facilities used for manufacturing weapons and storing raw rocket material. Accidental explosions have been reported in the past at bomb laboratories and munitions storehouses.
Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007, prompting Israel and Egypt to impose a blockade on the territory, largely to prevent the militants from amassing more weapons. Israel and Hamas have fought four wars and exchanged fire countless times since the Hamas takeover of the crowded Palestinian enclave.