An explosion in the Gaza Strip’s Bureij refugee camp leveled the apartment of senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist Ayman Atallah Fayed. Fayed, a member of the al-Quds Brigades better known as Abu Abdallah, was killed with his wife, two young children, and three other terrorists.
A nearby metal workshop was damaged in the blast. These workshops are often used to produce Qassam rockets and other explosive devices. Witnesses at the scene described debris among the rubble that looked surprisingly like the locally manufactured rockets Islamic Jihad regularly fires at Israel. This led to speculation in the MSM that the home might possibly have been used to house arms. According to the Los Angeles Times, “A Hamas militant with a walkie-talkie appeared on Palestinian television in Gaza at the scene of the blast, warning people to leave. He said there might be four or five unexploded rockets in the area.”
The Associated Press reports Islamic Jihad spokesman Abu Hamza claiming the house was hit in an Israeli air strike. Israeli officials denied the allegations and stated no IDF or IAF operations were occurring in the area. Hamas security officials said the cause of the explosion was unclear at this time. While Reuters refers to reports that a bomb went off inside the house.
I suspect an accidental explosion was most likely the case for three reasons. First, the materials found at the scene were indicative of rockets commonly used by Islamic Jihad against Israel. Second, the apartment was located near the sort of facility that produces these weapons. The third element is Hamas’ actions. I can’t think of a similar case when Hamas officials did not immediately blame Israel.