TEL AVIV – The head of the Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades missile unit was killed together with his teenage son in an explosion in Gaza on Sunday while they were building a rocket hours after a ceasefire with Israel was implemented, Palestinian media reported.
The two were identified as Ahmad Husan and his 13-year-old son Louay Husan. Husan was commander of the missile unit in the Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades, which is designated a terror group by Israel, the U.S. and the European Union.
The explosion, which occurred west of Gaza City, came after an intense flare-up that saw Hamas terrorists in Gaza launch some 200 missiles into Israel, prompting widespread Israeli airstrikes on terror targets, including two cross-border tunnels, in the coastal enclave.
Some local reports in Gaza described the explosion as a “work accident,” a euphemism that is often used by Palestinian media for weapons manufacturing.
Four Israelis were wounded by a rocket that landed on a home in Sderot.
“We were sitting in the living room and all of a sudden the aquarium exploded and there was smoke everywhere and glasses flew everywhere and we were filled with blood,” Aharon Buchris said from his hospital bed where he awaited surgery. His wife and two teenage daughters were also wounded.
According to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry, two Palestinian teenagers were killed in an airstrike on a building that was directly on top of a Hamas terror tunnel.
An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire came into effect Saturday night. Several mortars were fired by Hamas after the ceasefire announcement. Hamas also made it clear that the ceasefire did not include cessation of the so-called terror kites that have been flown over the border in recent months sparking thousands of fires.
“We have no intention of tolerating rockets, kites, drones or anything. Hamas has sustained a heavy blow,” said Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. “I hope that Hamas will draw conclusions and if not, they will have to pay a heavy price.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday vowed Israel would deliver a swift blow to Hamas if provoked.
“Our policy is clear: Whoever hurts us, we will hit them with great strength. This is what we did yesterday. The IDF dealt Hamas the harshest blow since Operation Protective Edge. I hope that they got the message; if not, they will get it later,” he said.
He also reiterated Liberman’s promise that incendiary kites would not be tolerated.
“I heard it being said that Israel has agreed to a ceasefire that would allow the continuation of terrorism by incendiary kites and balloons; this is incorrect. We are not prepared to accept any attacks against us and we will respond appropriately,” he said.