|Members of Palestinian Hamas security forces survey the scene of an explosion in the northern Gaza Strip|
Israel‘s military denied accounts by local residents that the militants were killed in an air strike.
Violence along the Israel-Gaza border has flared since US President Donald Trump’s recognition last week of Jerusalem as Israel‘s capital and the Israeli military’s demolition on Sunday of a cross-border tunnel it said was dug by Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the small coastal enclave.
On Monday, Israel‘s Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted a rocket fired by militants in Gaza. Shortly afterward, Israel responded with tank fire and air strikes targeting positions of Hamas.
In a statement after Tuesday’s explosion, Islamic Jihad said: “We mourn the men – ‘martyrs of preparation'”. The group usually employs the term to refer to casualties caused by the accidental detonation of weapons or explosives used in attacks against Israel.