Smuggling tunnel beneath the Egyptian-Gaza border
Smuggling tunnel beneath the Egyptian-Gaza borderAbed Rahim Khatib/Flash90

Several Palestinian Arab groups from the Gaza Strip, including Hamas, on Friday called for an investigation after three Palestinian Arabs were found dead in a tunnel near the border area, Haaretz reports.

Some of the factions in Gaza are accusing Egypt's army of killing the men using toxic gas.

Hamas' Interior Ministry confirmed that three bodies were extricated from the tunnel in southern Rafah, and that security forces are investigating the incident. On Thursday evening, they had lost contact with the three men.

Egypt has not yet commented on the accusations.

Egypt has long been cracking down on smuggling tunnels which have been built between Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula.

As part of the crackdown, Egyptian security forces set up a five-kilometer security zone along the border with Gaza to allow for the tracking and destruction of new tunnels.

The buffer zone was initially planned to be 500 meters wide, but Egypt later decided to expand it.

As part of the crackdown on the tunnels, Egypt often floods the tunnels in order to render them ineffective, ignoring Hamas’ pleas that it stop doing so.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)