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Palestinian killed in blast at south Gaza crossing

Two others were injured during the incident which took place on the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing

Published: Updated:

One Palestinian was killed and two others injured Tuesday when a blast hit a fuel truck at a crossing in southern Gaza, medics said, according to Agence France-Presse.

Emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said a 20-year-old man had been killed in the explosion which took place on the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing.

Officials were not immediately able to say whether it was the result of an accident or a deliberate attack. But Israeli and Palestinian officials said they believed the explosion was accidental, according to Reuters news agency.

Meanwhile, Interior ministry spokesman Iyyad Buzum said the explosion took place on the Palestinian side of the crossing, describing the incident as “very strange.”

It occurred in an area which is under control of the Israeli defense ministry and which workers can only access with permission.

Gaza routinely buys supplies of diesel, gasoline and cooking gas from Israel that are transported through Kerem Shalom, the only commercial crossing into the strip.

Tightening security

In a separate incident, another young Palestinian was shot dead during clashes with the Israeli army in the southern West Bank.

Imad Jawabreh, 22, died after being hit in the chest by bullets, medics said following the incident which took place on a main road near the southern city of Hebron.

The incident happened as Israel said it was tightening security in major cities and the West Bank following two deadly Palestinian attacks.

Police units have been deployed on Tuesday in cities, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, in response to the attacks, Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

The army says it has beefed up forces in the West Bank.

The incidents came amid rising tensions spawned by conflicting claims to a Jerusalem holy site and the aftermath of this summer's Gaza war.

[With AFP and Reuters]