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Blast strikes Gaza home of Popular Resistance Committee commander

As tension and violence mount in the Palestinian enclave, Israel denies involvement in an attack that leaves one dead.

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A Palestinian fighter from the Popular Resistance Committee, an Islamist coalition of militants based in the Gaza Strip, attends a training session in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza in December 2010. (MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)

At least one person was killed when an evening blast struck the home of a leader of a Palestinian militant organization blamed for terrorist attacks on Israel today, according to ynetnews.

Citing medics in Gaza, Reuters reported  that the house belonged to Zuhair al-Qaissi, commander of the Popular Resistance Committee, an armed faction that can operate independently of Hamas, the dominant faction in Gaza.

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The PRC claimed that al-Qaissi was not hurt, according to Reuters, which said his predecessor had been killed in an Israeli air strike in August.

The Israel Defense Force told CNN that the explosion was not a result of Israeli military activity. Israel blames the PRC both for a terrorist attack in August that killed eight Israeli citizens in southern Israel and the 2006 kidnapping of the IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

The newspaper Haaretz reported on its website that four others were also injured in the blast.

Tensions have been rising in Gaza in recent days.

Citing Palestinian sources, ynetnews reported that IDF tanks had opened fire late Thursday on a "terror cell" operating east of the al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza. This caused "moderate wounds" to two people who were evacuated.

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Haaretz also reported that that two weeks ago IDF aircraft had struck a Palestinian rocket-launching squadron in Gaza during a "string of violent incident[s]" along the Israel-Gaza border. One man was killed and five, reportedly farmers working nearby, were injured. The border has been quiet since.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/israel-and-palestine/120114/blast-strikes-gaza-home-popular-resist