A member of the Palestinian movement Hamas has died under the debris of a tunnel which collapsed in the Gaza Strip near the Israeli border, according to Hamas and medical aid sources, AFP has reported.
The reason for collapse was not mentioned by the sources.
The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades in a statement confirmed the death of its member after the collapse of “a resistance tunnel” in Gaza strip.
According to the statement made by Hamas officials, two other members of Hamas were reported to have been “moderately injured” in the tunnel collapse.
The underground tunnel network is of vital importance for Hamas and its members in the case of a potential attack by Israel. The people of Gaza also use the tunnels to smuggle supplies in and out of the blockaded enclave.
Israel tried to destroy underground tunnels during the 50-day conflict between Israel and Hamas last summer, but Hamas has largely rebuilt the tunnels.
On the Egypt-Palestine border at least 1,600 tunnels have been destroyed by Egypt since Egypt’s first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi was deposed by former military general Abdel Fattah Sisi in July 2013, before Sisi went on to become the current Egyptian president.