A senior Hamas terrorist has joined the growing list of diggers who have been killed or injured after the tunnel in which they were working collapsed.
A senior Hamas field commander, said to be a commander of Hamas’ terror-tunnel operations, was killed when a tunnel he was in collapsed on Monday.
The terror organization, which rules the Gaza Strip, confirmed in a statement that Al-Salam Aid al-Batneji, 36, of the Shujaiya neighbourhood, was killed in a “work accident” in a tunnel.
There are unconfirmed reports of further casualties.
This collapse is at least the ninth in recent months, and dozens of Hamas terrorists have been killed or injured in these incidents.
The last tunnel collapse occurred last week, in which two Hamas diggers were killed and several others were wounded.
The repeated collapse of the terror tunnels are distressing to Hamas diggers, who are reportedly refusing to enter the tunnels out of fear they may be killed or injured.
Hamas has built a sophisticated network of tunnels that it has used to penetrate Israel to carry out terrorist attacks on civilians and soldiers and smuggle goods and weapons in and out of Gaza through the Sinai Peninsula.
The IDF destroyed most of the tunnels during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, but Hamas has since been working vigorously to rebuild the network, many times at the expense of innocent Gazans, from whom they steal building materials, which they use for military build-up.