Gaza explosion leaves six Palestinians dead

Saul Bowman
May 8, 2018

Israeli forces shot tear gas, rubber bullets, and live rounds at crowds gathered near the Israel-Palestine border in Gaza on May 4, as protests continued into their sixth week.

Gaza's health ministry identified two of the dead as Bahaa Rahman Qudeih, 23, and Mohammed Abu Rayda, 20.

An IDF spokeswoman and a Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) spokesman declined to comment on the explosion.

Gaza's health ministry confirmed six people were killed, updating the figure from an initial five, and three others wounded in what residents said appeared to be an accidental explosion in the Az Zawayda area of the central Gaza Strip.

The rallies are part of a six-week protest that will culminate on May 15 to mark what Palestinians refer to as the Nakba, or "catastrophe" - a reference to Israel's establishment in 1948 and when 750,000 Arabs were removed from Palestine.

Ezzedine Al Qassam said the dead were all its members and blamed Israel for the explosion, without providing details.

No Israelis have been hurt in the weeks of protests and the military has faced worldwide criticism for its use of live ammunition.


Gunfire has wounded hundreds more on Israel's border with Gaza.

Since late March, 40 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli army fire.

The IDF has described the protests as "a violent riot", saying participants have thrown Molotov cocktails and rocks at soldiers, opened fire on them, set tires on fire to provide cover for attacks and attempted to cross the border into Israel.

The brother of a Palestinian Hamas gunman, who was killed in an explosion, is consoled at a hospital in the central Gaza Strip May 5, 2018.

It added that Palestinian protesters managed to down two military surveillance drones using slingshots, and quoted the army claiming the drones, Phantom 3 and Matrice, are surveillance only UAV's and do not carry classified intelligence.

Israel says Hamas, the militant group which dominates Gaza, is orchestrating the demonstrations in order to launch attacks.

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