On May 5, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian Hamas Movement, announced in an official statement that six of its fighters had been killed during a security operation in the center of the Gaza strip. The group accused Israel of being behind the incident but didn’t provide further details.
“During a complicated security and intelligence operation conducted by Qassam Brigades to investigate a serious and a grave security incident conducted by the Zionist enemy against Palestinian resistance, a deplorable crime took place against our Mujahideen in the area of Zawayda in central Gaza Strip,” the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades said in its official statement, according to Reuters agency.
Earlier, Ashraf al-Qadra spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of Health said that six were killed and three others injured in an explosion that rocked a house in the Zawayda area.
Commenting on the incident in the Gaza Strip, an Israeli military spokeswoman told Reuters that she had no information about it.
Al-Jazeera correspondent in Gaza Wael al-Dahdouh said that initial reports had suggested that the explosion occurred when a unit of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades was attempting to defuse an Israeli missile, which didn’t explode during a previous Israeli airstrike.
The incident will raise further the tension between Israeli and the Hamas Movement in the Gaza Strip, according to local observers. However, it’s very unlikely that Hamas will respond because the group prefers to avoid any military escalation with the Israeli side.