Terrorists’ improperly stored explosives killed Gazan child: IDF

“These are the sad consequences of militarizing civilian areas for terrorist activity,” says IDF spokesman.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

High-powered explosives which terrorists had improperly stored within a family home ignited a massive blast in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, killing a 9-year-old girl, IDF officials said.

The explosion, which occurred in the city of Khan Younis, was said to have killed two and injured several more people.

Arabic-language media identified the deceased as 9-year-old Mira Attal, and her relative who owned the apartment, Nidal Attal.

“Another tragedy in the Gaza Strip today,” said Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, the IDF’s international media spokesperson, in a media statement.

“Weapons stored unsafely in the house of a member of a Palestinian terrorist group exploded and killed a young child in the vicinity.”

On Twitter, Hecht added that “these are the sad consequences of militarizing civilian areas for terrorist activity.”

In a press statement, Gaza’s Hamas-run Interior Ministry said that the cause of the blast was still under investigation.

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Pictures of the blast site circulating on social media show significant damage to the structure, with a massive hole in the side of the building.

Palestinian Shehab News Agency referred to the blast as “accidental.” That descriptor is particularly significant, as the outlet has repeatedly inaccurately blamed Israel for the deaths of Gazan civilians in the past.

Israel has long criticized Gaza-based terror groups for using civilian homes in residential areas for military operations, such as weapons storage or rocket launching sites.

During Israel’s recent Operation Breaking Dawn in Gaza, up to one-third of all Palestinian casualties occurred due to misfired rockets, which were launched by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group but fell short and hit homes within the coastal enclave.

The Associated Press conducted an independent investigation which supported the assessment by Israeli military officials that at least 14 out of the 47 Gazans killed during the hostilities were the victims of failed rocket launches.