Hamas’s armed wing blamed Israel for an explosion in the Gaza Strip on Saturday that killed six of the group’s gunmen.
A statement from the Palestinian Islamist group’s armed wing called the incident a “deplorable Zionist crime” perpetrated against its fighters.
“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,” it said.
Hamas provided no further details.
During the funerals of five of the terrorists, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh explained a little more:
Ismail Haniya, head of Hamas’ political bureau, said that the six martyrs of the Qassam Brigades are the solid building blocks of a special section in the Al-Qassam Brigades, in a battle of minds to thwart intelligence operations carried out by the occupation, which many people aren’t aware of.
He added: “We are fighting on several fronts, including security, popular, political and media and on more than one level.”
Haniyeh revealed during the funeral of five martyrs in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, that the Qassam Brigades thwarted hundreds of [Israeli] security operations thanks to the efforts of the martyrs.
Haniyeh said: “These martyrs are heroic jihadis, not today and yesterday, but they have been engaged in this work of years.”
Haniyeh’s statement implies that some or all of these men were involved in intelligence activities.
YNet’s sources give a more prosaic explanation:
A Gaza source told Ynet, meanwhile, that the casualties were members of an engineering group that attempted to dismantle an Israeli rocket that had not detonated. As they were working to defuse it, it went off, he added.
Denying any culpability for the explosion and consequent deaths, “The IDF is not involved in this incident in any way,” a military spokesman said.
It is possible that Hamas is blaming Israel for the deaths because they were trying to dismantle (or more likely reverse-engineer) an old Israeli rocket at the time. It was a major explosion, bigger than most “work accidents.”
Either way, though it doesn’t matter – the world has six fewer terrorists, and if Hamas thinks that Israel killed them, all the better.
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