On Sunday, August 9th, 2014, a major explosion occurred in the Al-Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza. According to reports, the explosion killed at least 28 Palestinians and injured around 40 others. Witnesses reported that the blast was caused by a mortar or rocket fired at the camp, while Israeli military sources claimed that it was an errant Palestinian rocket that had misfired.
The Al-Maghazi refugee camp was home to around 11,000 Palestinian refugees and was under constant attack from the Israeli military during Operation Protective Edge. Residents had also been condemned by militant groups, who were using the camp as a base to launch attacks on Israeli forces. The explosion caused widespread damage to the camp, leveling homes and destroying vehicles.
The Israeli military denied responsibility for the blast and its aftermath, and the Palestinian Authority (PA) has yet to offer a definitive conclusion on what the cause of the explosion was. Nonetheless, the incident has been widely condemned as yet another example of civilian casualties suffered at the hands of the Israeli military, and has further exacerbated tensions in the region.