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Deadly explosion hits Gaza rally marking 2005 Israel pullout

At least five Palestinians have been killed and 25 others wounded in an explosion next to the separation fence along the Israeli frontier with Gaza, according to the Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip.

Wednesday’s explosion took place during a demonstration along the fence marking the anniversary of Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005. The event on Gaza’s eastern border was organised by Hamas, the Palestinian group that has governed the territory since 2007.

The demonstrators said Israeli soldiers fired tear gas before the deadly blast.

Witnesses told local media that when a Palestinian Explosives Engineering Unit was trying to defuse an explosive device, Israeli forces opened fire, preventing them from escaping the blast.

The Israeli army, which has carried out several spells of deadly bombing on the besieged enclave, denied involvement. It said that demonstrators were trying to throw a bomb over the fence when the device detonated. It released an aerial video showing a blast along the fence. Debris flew into the air, and several people could be seen running away.

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