August 2, 2010 / 9:40 AM / 9 years ago

Blast in Gaza wounds 24 Palestinians

GAZA (Reuters) - An explosion in the house of a Hamas commander in the Gaza Strip has wounded 24 people, a Hamas official and medical workers in the Palestinian territory said Monday.

Hamas blamed Israel for the explosion, which it said targeted field commander Alaa al-Danaf. The Israeli military, through an army spokeswoman, denied any involvement.

Medical workers said the blast had wounded 24 people inside and outside al-Danaf’s house. It was unclear if he was killed in the blast, which occurred at a time of renewed cross-border violence between militants and the Israeli army.

A Hamas commander and rocket-maker was killed in an Israeli air strike at the weekend after a rocket fired from the enclave exploded in the Israeli city of Ashkelon.

Issa Batran, whose caravan was hit by a missile, was the first Hamas commander killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza since Israel wound up a three-week military offensive against the territory’s Hamas Islamist rulers in January 2009.

Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Writing by Joseph Nasr, Editing by Mark Trevelyan

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