Bomb blast at Gaza border kills five Palestinians

Protest against Oslo accords in Gaza
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A bomb blast killed at least five Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday 13 September, the Gaza health ministry said. The incident took place during a rally for Resistance Day, marking the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza strip in 2005.

According to Al Jazeera:

Witnesses told local media that when a Palestinian Explosives Engineering Unit was trying to defuse an explosive device, Israeli forces opened fire, preventing them from escaping the blast.

Protest turned to mourning

Dozens of Palestinian youth had made their way to Gaza’s eastern border on the evening of 13 September. They were protesting against Israeli forces stationed there.

On the same evening, Palestinian journalist Aya Isleem shared on Twitter:

Isleem shared pictures of grieving Gaza residents shortly afterwards:

The health ministry in Gaza later claimed the death toll went up to five people.

Regarding the rally, the New Arab reported:

Raising the Palestinian flags, the protest was organised by the national and Islamic Palestinian factions to condemn the Oslo Accords signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authorities in 1993.

Once the protestors reached the eastern fence, the Israeli army soldiers opened fire and lobbed tear gas bombs, according to Palestinian security sources.

Targeting protesters

In a statement sent to the New Arab, the Gaza health ministry said:

body parts of five young men arrived at Al-Shifa Medical Hospital after an explosive device exploded on them in the Gaza border area.

Twenty-five others were wounded, including two in serious condition, were also transferred to the hospital to receive their treatment

Local eyewitnesses told the New Arab they had heard a loud explosion but didn’t know the source. Meanwhile, an AFP journalist saw at least three bodies at the local hospital, as ambulances brought in casualties amid crowds who had gathered to check on their fate.

A Hamas security source, who declined to give his name, said “the bomb exploded a few metres from the Israeli fence”.

Video footage filmed by AFP showed tear gas canisters falling near the demonstrators, with some picking them up and throwing them at the soldiers.

Gaza-based factions have blamed Israeli forces for the blast, accusing them of targeting and killing protesters.

The Israeli army, meanwhile, claimed Palestinian protesters wanted to place an explosive device near the border to hurt Israelis, which detonated “prematurely”.

Shooting at medics

A correspondent for the Palestine Chronicle, who was close to the scene of the explosion, reported:

The protest began peacefully but the Israeli army reaction was particularly disproportionate, to the point that many of the journalists and the medics began running away, since the Israeli military was firing live bullets.

The correspondent said Israeli forces also opened fire on the medics who tried to tend to the wounded following the explosion. One Palestinian medic was injured as a result.

So far, Israeli forces have killed at least 232 Palestinians in 2023. 32 Israelis have also been killed in the conflict.

Featured image via Press TV – screengrab

Additional reporting via Agence France-Presse


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