TEL AVIV – The Palestinian Authority on Tuesday baselessly accused Israel of using “poisonous gas” during an IDF strike that saw an attack tunnel stretching from Gaza into Israeli territory blown up the previous day.
According to the PA Ministry of Health’s spokesman in Gaza, most of the injuries sustained by the dead were due to “gas inhalation” – the result of a “forbidden weapon” employed by Israel.
The explosion killed seven Palestinians, most of whom were members of the Islamic Jihad terror group, and injured 13 more.
“Most of the injuries among the martyrs (shahids) and wounded occurred during the inhalation of gas,” official PA TV quoted Ashraf Al-Qudra as saying.
“There is speculation that Israel used an internationally forbidden weapon during this incident. Therefore, we call on all of the international organizations to stop these materials that the Israeli occupation is using against our unarmed people,” he added in a translation provided by watchdog Palestinian Media Watch.
PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida cited a medical source from Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the Gaza Strip as claiming that “poison gas was used in the missiles that hit the tunnel.”
As PMW notes, the tunnel was destroyed in a controlled explosion with no missiles fired.
The article continues by saying that doctors at the hospital were unsure about what type of poisonous gas the Israelis used “since it was used for the first time.”
“The Fatah Movement condemned the Israeli crime and emphasized in a statement yesterday that this pure blood was not spilled in vain, and that those who committed the crime will not escape justice,” the article concluded.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party also uploaded three images of the dead terrorists alongside a quote from the Quran: “And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision.”
Senior Islamic Jihad leader Khaled al-Batsh said Tuesday that the tunnel was built for the purpose of kidnapping Israeli soldiers.
“The purpose of the tunnel was kidnapping soldiers in order to free prisoners [from Israeli prisons],” Batsh said, speaking at a funeral in Gaza for five PIJ terrorists.
Four of the dead were Islamic Jihad members, including two senior terrorist commanders, Arafat Abu Murshad, Islamic Jihad’s central Gaza commander, and his deputy Hassan Abu Hassanein. The three others were named as Ahmad Khalil Abu Armana, 25, Omar Nasar al-Fallit, 27, and Jihad Abdullah al-Samiri, 32, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.