GAZA // An explosion in the house of a Hamas commander in the Gaza Strip has wounded 24 people, a Hamas official and medical workers in the Palestinian territory said today. Hamas blamed Israel for the explosion, which it said targeted a field commander Alaa al-Danaf. The Israeli military, through an army spokeswoman, denied any involvement. Medical workers said the blast had wounded 24 people inside and outside Mr al-Danaf's house. It was unclear if he was killed in the blast, which occurred at a time of renewed cross-border violence between militants and the Israeli army.
A Hamas commander and rocket-maker was killed in an Israeli air strike at the weekend after a rocket fired from the enclave exploded in the Israeli city of Ashkelon. Issa Batran, whose caravan was hit by a missile, was the first Hamas commander killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza since Israel wound up a three-week military offensive against the territory's Hamas Islamist rulers in January 2009.