Images reportedly from the scene showed heavily damaged structures and a smoke cloud that could be seen from a distance.
One person was killed and 10 others were injured after a weapons storage belonging to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist movement at the Al-Zawiya market in Gaza City exploded on Thursday morning, IDF spokesperson for Arab media Avichay Adraee reported on Twitter.
انفجار في محال تجارية بمنطقة سوق الزاوية وسط مدينة غزة وأنباء عن إصابات pic.twitter.com/TRdRdodHu5
— المركز الفلسطيني للإعلام (@PalinfoAr) July 22, 2021
“This explosion is another evidence of the way the interests of terrorist organizations are prioritized over the interests of the residents of the Gaza Strip,” wrote Adraee.
#غزة صباح اليوم.. انفجار كبير في سوق الزاوية شرق المدينة، أدى لإصابات وربما شهداء. pic.twitter.com/uiSGOgAipK — Meqdad (@Almeqdad) July 22, 2021
The PIJ seemed to take some form of responsibility on Thursday evening, announcing that it would “rise up to its responsibilities” and follow up with all concerned parties concerning the explosion in the market. The terrorist movement expressed its “full solidarity” with those affected by the explosion.
The injured were transferred to Shifa Hospital in the coastal enclave. The Palestinian killed in the incident was identified by Palestinian media as Atta Saqallah.
“Instead of responding to UN calls for the reconstruction of Gaza, terrorist organizations continue to manufacture weapons and promote the construction of military sites,” added Adraee. “These terrorist organizations store their weapons in the heart of residential neighborhoods and among civilians, exposing them directly to danger.”
The terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip released a statement expressing their “full solidarity” with those affected by the explosion, stressing the need to rise up to national responsibility in order to prevent the accident from occurring again, according to Palestinian media.
Images reportedly from the scene showed heavily damaged structures and a smoke cloud that could be seen from a distance. A number of smaller booms could be heard in video reportedly showing the moments leading up to the larger explosion.
The Hamas Interior Ministry stated that the explosion occurred in a multi-story house in the market, leading to the collapse of large parts of the home and damage to nearby homes and shops.
#فيديو يوثق لحظة الانفجار الكبير في سوق الزاوية بغزة pic.twitter.com/e6PUcu8RfS — حسن اصليح | Hassan (@hassaneslayeh) July 22, 2021
Explosions caused by weapons stored in civilian homes have occurred in Gaza in the past.
BREAKING: Explosion in Gaza — smoke seen rising from the area where it occurred. pic.twitter.com/Ukf5wBiv9K — Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) July 22, 2021
In January, an explosion destroyed a home in Gaza where terrorists were attempting to prepare explosives. At the time, Adraee said on Twitter that “the story of the house is the story of many homes in the Gaza Strip,” that are being used for weapons storage.
#عاجل سبق وحذرنا فلم يتعظوا! هز صباح اليوم انفجار قوي في مستودع أسلحة تابع لمنظمة #الجهاد_الإسلامي الإرهابية في قلب #سوق_الزاوية في #غزة أدى الى دمار موقعًا قتلى وجرحى بين سكان القطاع. هذا الانفجار هو بمثابة دليل آخر على طريقة تغليب مصلحة المنظمات الإرهابية على مصالح سكان القطاع pic.twitter.com/PrmSDS8WBd — افيخاي ادرعي (@AvichayAdraee) July 22, 2021
“They have turned [homes] into warehouses of weapons, military parts and missiles for terrorist organizations and the people who pay the price in the end are the innocent civilians,” added Adraee at the time.