Four dead as Gaza con­flict con­tin­ues

CityPress - - News - – Reuters

The Pales­tinian Is­lamic Ji­had mil­i­tant group said four of its mem­bers were killed in an ap­par­ent ac­ci­den­tal blast in the Gaza Strip yes­ter­day.

It was “mourn­ing its fight­ers who were mar­tyred dur­ing prepa­ra­tions”, it said in a state­ment. It usu­ally em­ploys those terms to re­fer to ca­su­al­ties caused by the ac­ci­den­tal det­o­na­tion of weapons or ex­plo­sives used in at­tacks against Israel.

The Gaza health min­istry con­firmed four fa­tal­i­ties. Medics at the scene in the Rafah area said the ex­plo­sion was caused by Israel. An Is­raeli mil­i­tary spokesman said the army was not in­volved.

Vi­o­lence has flared in the Gaza Strip since March 30, when Pales­tini­ans be­gan protests along the bor­der area with Israel. Is­raeli troops have shot dead 31 Gaza Pales­tini­ans and wounded hun­dreds since the protests be­gan, draw­ing in­ter­na­tional crit­i­cism of their lethal tac­tics.

The bor­der area re­mained largely quiet yes­ter­day. Tented camps have been set up near the fron­tier as part of a protest dubbed “The Great March of Re­turn” – a long-time call for refugees to re­gain an­ces­tral homes in what is now Israel. The protest is in its third week.

Israel with­drew its troops and set­tlers from Gaza in 2005. The Pales­tinian en­clave is ruled by the Is­lamist Ha­mas move­ment, des­ig­nated by Israel and the West as a ter­ror­ist group.

Cit­ing se­cu­rity con­cerns, Israel main­tains a naval block­ade of the coastal ter­ri­tory, keep­ing tight re­stric­tions on the move­ment of Pales­tini­ans and goods across the fron­tier.

Egypt, bat­tling an Is­lamist in­sur­gency in neigh­bour­ing Si­nai, keeps its bor­der with Gaza largely closed.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.