At least four people were reportedly killed Thursday in Gaza after an undetonated round from the summer war between Israel and Hamas exploded during attempts to clear debris left over from the conflict.
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According to medical sources in the Strip, up to 29 people were hurt when the unexploded shell blew up in Rafah. According to reports in Gaza, the shell was an Israeli dud left over from Operation Protective Edge.
The unexploded bomb was in the ruins of a house that used to belong to Sheikh Attia Abu-Nakira, senior member of Hamas' military wing. He apparently wasn't hurt in Thursday's blast. Israeli forces struck his house last July, during the war with Gaza.
Local reports said all the casualties were members of the Abu Nikra family and were aged 18 to 38. According to Gaza officials, the explosion took place during an attempt to clear debris from a house belonging to the family – which they said sustained damage from an aerial assault on Gaza during the 50-day summer conflict. Thursday's blast also reportedly caused damage to surrounding structures.
According to Ashraf al-Qidra, the spokesman for the Gaza Health Ministry, three members of the family were killed in the initial explosion, but one of the wounded later succumbed to his wounds. According to the official, 10 of those wounded were said to be in serious condition and some were still facing life-threatening wounds.
A ceasefire last August bought 50 days of fighting between the Israel Defense Forces and armed Gaza militants brought to an end. According to Gaza health officials, more than 2,100 Palestinians were killed. Israel lost 67 soldiers during the fighting and six civilians were killed as a result of rocket fire.