2 untrained Hamas operatives killed when disassembling unexploded Israeli ordnance

Hamas police explosives teams working to detect & disarm unexploded Israeli bombs are hamstrung by lack of training & experience.

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Two Palestinians were killed and three wounded on Friday when unexploded ordnance from the recent Gaza conflict blew up in the eastern Shujaiya neighborhood of Gaza City, Palestinian medical authorities said.

Witnesses said that a huge explosion was heard in the Shujaiya area and ambulances rushed to the area immediately.

Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesperson for the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, identified the two fatalities as Ayman Ziad Abu Jibba, 23, and Abdullah Jibril Abu Aser, 23, and said that their bodies were taken to al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.

In mid-August, six people were killed in a similar explosion. Aid groups have warned that the ordnance are a particular threat to children, who often think the bombs are toys.

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The Gaza Strip is currently littered with a large number of unexploded Israeli ordnance left over from the 51-day conflict that left more than 2,150 Palestinians dead, 11,200 injured, and more than 110,000 homeless.

Although Gaza police explosives teams have been working across the territory to destroy unexploded ordnance and prevent safety threats to locals, lack of proper equipment due to the seven-year Israeli siege as well as lack of resources more generally have hindered efforts.

Even before the most recent fighting, unexploded ordnance from the 2008-9 and 2012 offensives was a major threat to Gazans.

A 2012 report published by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said that 111 civilians, 64 of whom were children, had fallen victim to unexploded ordnance between 2009 and 2012, reaching an average of four every month in 2012.

 

View original HAARETZ publication at: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.616736

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