Araweelo News Network

A file photo of Nidal al-Jaafari, member of the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement, who was killed in a bomb attack near the border between the besieged Gaza Strip and Egypt’s volatile Sinai Peninsula early on August 17, 2017 (Photo by Safa news agency)

A member of the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement has been killed and another suffered injuries when an unidentified assailant blew up his explosives near the border between the besieged Palestinian coastal sliver and Egypt’s volatile Sinai Peninsula.

The spokesman for the Gaza Ministry of Interior and National Security, Iyad al-Bazm, said the incident occurred at around 1:00 a.m. local time on Thursday (2300 GMT Wednesday) when two people approached the enclave’s border crossing with Egypt.

Bazm identified the slain security officer as 28-year-old field commander Nidal al-Jaafari, who was also a fighter in the Ezzedeen al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. The identity of the injured guard remains unknown.

Palestinian security sources said two men approached a small security position a few hundred meters from the Rafah crossing with Egypt, and five guards tried to stop them before one detonated his explosives.

The second man was moderately wounded, while four other guards sustained injuries. One of the guards is said to be in a critical condition.

Bazm said security forces have launched an investigation into the incident.

He stressed that the Ministry of Interior had set up a “buffer zone” on the Palestinian side of the border with Egypt prior to the attack “to prevent militants from sneaking into Gaza from Sinai Peninsula.”

Sinai Peninsula has been under a state of emergency since October 2014, following a deadly terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 33 soldiers.

Over the past years, militants have been carrying out anti-government activities and deadly attacks in the area.

Militants from the Velayat Sinai Takfiri group, previously known as Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, have claimed responsibility for most of the attacks, mainly targeting the army and police. In November 2014, the group pledged allegiance to the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, which is mainly wreaking havoc in Iraq and Syria.

The group later expanded the assaults to target members of Egypt’s Coptic Christian community as well as foreigners visiting the North African country.

The acts of terror prompted the government in Cairo to widen a controversial crackdown, which critics say has mostly targeted opposition figures and political dissidents.