Hamas terrorist killed in yet another tunnel collapse
A Hamas terrorist was killed on Tuesday when a tunnel collapsed in Gaza, the group said, in the fourth such incident over the past few weeks.
The latest death brings to 11 the number of Gazans who have been killed in four separate collapses since January 26, noted the AFP news agency.
On Monday, a Palestinian Arab died when an illegal smuggling tunnel he was trying to restore collapsed near Gaza's border with Egypt.
Hamas’s so-called “military wing”, the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, said in a statement quoted by AFP on Tuesday that Marwan Maarouf, 27, from Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, died "after the collapse of a resistance tunnel".
Ashraf al-Qudra, a spokesman for the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza, said his body had been taken to Khan Yunis hospital.
Ten other Palestinian Arabs have died in three tunnel collapses in the past two weeks, nine of them members of the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades.
According to some estimates Hamas has succeeded in again digging tunnels into Israeli sovereign territory after many of them were destroyed during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, but Israeli officials have sought to play down fears from residents in southern Israel who say they have heard Hamas diggers underneath their homes.
But earlier on Tuesday, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot said the tunnels in Gaza were now the army's main priority.
On Saturday, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said the tunnels were flooded by Egypt at Israel's request. His office later said the remarks were misinterpreted.