Middle East

Many injured as Gaza blast destroys Hamas house

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A large explosion has shaken the home of a senior Hamas military commander in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas sources told the BBC the blast hit the home of Alaa al-Danaf. He reportedly survived the blast unharmed but his brother Abed was injured.

More than 20 people were injured in the explosion, which Palestinians said was caused by an Israeli missile strike.

However, Israel's military denied any involvement, saying it had not launched any strikes in the area.

The explosion destroyed the house and badly damaged several nearby houses.

Violent weekend

The head of the emergency unit at Gaza's health ministry, Muawiya Hassanein, told the BBC 30 people had arrived at hospital for treatment.

Most of those were said to be suffering slight or moderate injuries, with one in a critical condition.

The cause of the explosion was not immediately clear, but militants have sometimes been killed unexpectedly while preparing bombs and not in direct conflict.

The blast comes days after a Palestinian rocket landed in the Israeli town of Ashkelon and a retaliatory air strike killed a senior Hamas commander.

The military wing of Hamas, the al-Qassam brigades, said it would avenge the killing of Issa Batran.