An Israeli army officer in a tunnel used by Palestinian terrorists. (AP/Jack Guez, Pool)

Hamas is reportedly trying to keep quiet the fact that several terrorists were killed when a smuggling tunnel collapsed on them following a heavy rainstorm.

At least eight workers were confirmed dead and three are reported missing after the collapse of a Hamas terror tunnel this week in northeastern Gaza City as a result of heavy rains, according to Israel Radio, citing Palestinian sources.

The eight casualties were pulled out after having been buried alive when the tunnel caved in. As of this writing, the others have yet to be found found, but chances are very slim that they survived.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Health in Gaza denied the reports, claiming no bodies were brought to the hospital after the tunnel collapse, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Hamas has tried to keep the details under wraps, forbidding local media from reporting the incident, Times of Israel noted.

During Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, the IDF eliminated 32 tunnels that were intended for use by hundreds of Hamas terrorists in order to kidnap and murder Israelis. At least 14 of the tunnels extended into Israel. As explained by the IDF blog, “the Hamas tunnel network is a vast underground city with dozens of access points located throughout Gaza. Hamas uses these tunnels as weapons caches, bunkers, command centers and a concealed transportation artery for terrorists and weapons, including rocket launchers.”

There is strong evidence that Hamas has resumed its tunnel-building effort on a large scale after the implementation of the ceasefire at the end of the operation in 2014, and it’s believed that they now have about the same number of tunnels as before the war. In fact, Hamas is using the cement Gaza receives for humanitarian purposes to rebuild its terror tunnels instead of rehabilitating the Gaza Strip, a senior IDF officer charged recently.

In recent weeks, Israeli security also discovered Hamas tunnel activity in the Palestinian Authority-ruled areas of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. For instance, a large Hamas terror cell was nabbed in Abu Dis, a Palestinian town just east of Jerusalem, which was planning massive suicide bombings and other acts of terror. The investigation in that case, which lasted several weeks, included the discovery of a makeshift laboratory used for creating explosives.