Eight people were killed, including a commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, and some 40 were wounded when an explosion destroyed a house in the Gaza Strip late on Friday, a group spokesman and local medics said.Haaretz adds:
The Israeli army denied any involvement. Islamic Jihad said an air strike caused the blast, which also killed three other militants as well as the wife and two young children of the commander, Ayman Fayed, better known as Abu Abdallah.
Some residents of the al-Bureij refugee camp said they believed there had been an air strike. Others said they heard no aircraft noise or other indications before the explosion.
Witnesses at the scene said they saw debris among the rubble of what looked like the locally manufactured rockets the Islamic Jihad and other groups fire at Israeli towns.
Israel has used air strikes on cars in Gaza to kill a number of militants lately but has not bombed a house there since 2006. Militants have also been killed in accidental explosions and faction fighting, while some Palestinians also accuse Israel of using undercover methods to set off explosions in the enclave.
In contrast to Islamic Jihad, Hamas initially declined to blame Israel, saying it might have been a "work accident" - i.e. that some of the explosives stored in the house might have gone off accidentally. That is also the Israel Defense Forces' assessment, and the IDF stressed there were no Israeli operations in Gaza at the time.This is a slam dunk case of a "work accident:" Israel has not been bombing houses; when they used to their targets were always the leaders of the terror groups; Israel admits when it kills terrorists' and the house was apparently a rocket factory.
But yesterday all the Palestinian organizations, including both Hamas and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, issued statements blaming Israel for the blast.
Of course, Ma'an - the most reliable Palestinian Arab"news" source - doesn't bother to mention any of that as it blames Israel explicitly, showing once again the quality of Palestinian Arab "news".
The 2008 PalArab self-death count is now at 25.
UPDATE: PCHR adds more details, and many more of the civtims were under 18, so I am adjusting the self-death count.