On July 22nd, one person was killed and 10 others were injured after an alleged weapons storage belonging to Palestinian Islamic Jihad somehow exploded at the Al-Zawiya market in Gaza City.
Initially, the cause and nature of the incident were unknown.
Issam al-Dalees, the head of government public works, urged government agencies to publish the findings of the investigation as soon as possible to prevent its recurrence, as well as “deal swiftly” with the effect of the explosion.
“We received field reports about the performance of the crews working in extinguishing the fire, rescuing the injured and removing the rubble,” al-Dalees said in a statement. “We also heard a report from the ministry of health on the statuses of the injured and the first aid provided to them.”
Iyad al-Buzum, a spokesman for the interior ministry in the besieged coastal enclave, said the explosion took place in a residential building consisting of several floors, which led to the collapse in large parts of the structure. Nearby homes and shops also sustained material damages.
انفجار في محال تجارية بمنطقة سوق الزاوية وسط مدينة غزة وأنباء عن إصابات pic.twitter.com/TRdRdodHu5
— المركز الفلسطيني للإعلام (@PalinfoAr) July 22, 2021
“This explosion is another evidence of the way the interests of terrorist organizations are prioritized over the interests of the residents of the Gaza Strip,” IDF spokesperson for Arab media Avichay Adraee said.
— Meqdad (@Almeqdad) July 22, 2021
The PIJ seemed to take some form of responsibility, announcing that it would “rise up to its responsibilities” and follow up with all concerned parties concerning the explosion in the market. The group expressed its “full solidarity” with those affected by the explosion.
The injured were transferred to Shifa Hospital in the coastal enclave. The Palestinian killed in the incident was identified by Palestinian media as Atta Saqallah.
“Instead of responding to UN calls for the reconstruction of Gaza, terrorist organizations continue to manufacture weapons and promote the construction of military sites,” added Adraee. “These terrorist organizations store their weapons in the heart of residential neighborhoods and among civilians, exposing them directly to danger.”
The groups in the Gaza Strip released a statement expressing their “full solidarity” with those affected by the explosion, stressing the need to rise up to national responsibility in order to prevent the accident from occurring again, according to Palestinian media.
— حسن اصليح | Hassan (@hassaneslayeh) July 22, 2021
Multiple people reportedly injured as a result of the explosion in Al-Zawiya market in the center of #Gaza City
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) July 22, 2021
In January, an explosion destroyed a home in Gaza where members of Palestinian groups were allegedly attempting to prepare explosives.
At the time, Adraee said on Twitter that “the story of the house is the story of many homes in the Gaza Strip,” that are being used for weapons storage.
#عاجل سبق وحذرنا فلم يتعظوا!
هز صباح اليوم انفجار قوي في مستودع أسلحة تابع لمنظمة #الجهاد_الإسلامي الإرهابية في قلب #سوق_الزاوية في #غزة أدى الى دمار موقعًا قتلى وجرحى بين سكان القطاع.
هذا الانفجار هو بمثابة دليل آخر على طريقة تغليب مصلحة المنظمات الإرهابية على مصالح سكان القطاع pic.twitter.com/PrmSDS8WBd
— افيخاي ادرعي (@AvichayAdraee) July 22, 2021
“They have turned [homes] into warehouses of weapons, military parts and missiles for terrorist organizations and the people who pay the price in the end are the innocent civilians,” added Adraee at the time.
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