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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Mysterious explosion kills terrorist in Gaza (updated)

Ma'an says:
From PalToday
A Palestinian was killed and several others injured in an explosion targeting a car in Gaza City just before noon Tuesday.

Civil defense officials said an Israeli drone targeted the car, which was on the street outside the Palestinian Authority passport office in western Gaza City.
But the truth is a bit more complicated:
A car exploded Wednesday afternoon near a Hamas police station in Gaza City. The al-Arabiya network reported that one person was killed in the blast and another three were injured.

The man killed in the explosion was a senior field commander in the Army of Islam, one of the organizations affiliated with al-Qaeda in the Strip.

Eyewitnesses said the car was travelling on the road parallel to the police headquarters when the explosion occurred. Despite the claims of an airstrike, other residents said the explosion occurred inside the vehicle.

Palestine Press Agency says that Hamas had arrested him a few days ago to stop his group from firing rockets into Israel. His car exploded as it was approaching Hamas police headquarters.

It quotes other Hamas supporters as saying that it might have been an Israeli booby-trap.

Israel has not commented on whether it was an airstrike.

So, intriguingly, there are at least five possible scenarios:

* Israeli airstrike - not likely in the middle of Gaza City with non-combatants around
* Israeli booby trap - also not likely because, frankly, it is easier to shoot from the air
* Hamas car bomb - possible, although the timing is strange
* Army of Islam attempt to attack Hamas that went wrong - given the arrest and their ideology, this is a possibility
* A generic work accident

UPDATE: It was the IDF.