Two Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants riding on a motorcycle in Gaza were killed in an explosion on Tuesday which the group implied was caused by an accidental detonation during preparations for an attack.
The blast comes amid increased tensions in Gaza, after the military destroyed a Hamas attack tunnel on Sunday, an increase in rocket fire against near Israeli communities by terrorist groups in the Strip, and a number of violent protests along the security fence against US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
According to Palestinian Ma'an News agency, sources close to Islamic Jihad said that the two men - Hussein Ghazi Hussein Nasrallah and Mustafa Sultan - were part of the group's armed sing, Saraya al-Quds, and had been working for its northern brigade's engineering unit.
The latest one, code-named Operation Protective Edge, took place in the summer of 2014 and resulted in the deaths of more than 2,200 Palestinians. "Contrary to Palestinian reports earlier today, the IDF did not attack in the northern Gaza Strip", the military said in a statement. The Iron Dome Aerial Defense System intercepted a rocket above the city.
A day before, Israel had announced a massive attack targeting Hamas positions in the southern Gaza Strip. The rocket was successfully intercepted by an Iron Dome battery.
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A senior security establishment official is quoted anonymously telling Walla News on Shabbos that "Hamas is playing a risky game as Israel views renewed rocket fire from Gaza a very serious".
Several rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza over the weekend, including one that hit near a home in the city of Sderot and another one that damaged a kindergarten.
The circumstances of the incident, which occurred near Gaza's northern border with Israel, were initially unclear. Hits inside Israeli territory have not been identified.
Hours after two rockets that were fired by Palestinians landed near Israel's border with Gaza on Monday night, a rocket siren was sounded in the Hof Ashkelon and Lakhish regional councils.