The tunnel that collapsed east of Gaza City last week is the same one that was used to kidnap IDF soldier Oron Shaul during Operation Protective Edge, Khalil Al-Hayeh, a senior Hamas official, revealed on Sunday.

Seven Hamas members were killed in the tunnel collapse last week; four others survived.

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Hamas said that the seven men were members of its military wing, Izzadin Kassam. They were renovating the tunnel that was partially destroyed during the war, Hamas said.

Al-Hayeh denounced UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon, who criticized Hamas for building the tunnels.

“The tunnel in which the Al-Qassam men were martyred is the same one that was used to kidnap the Zionist soldier Oron Shaul during the aggression against the Gaza Strip,” the Hamas officials said during a ceremony in Gaza City to commemorate the slain the Hamas members.

“The weapons that we possess are for defending our people and holy sites,” Al-Hayeh said.

“Ban Ki-moon and all the others need to know that these weapons are for self-defense.”

He also accused the UN chief of having previously “justified the crimes of Israeli ‘occupation’ against the Palestinian people.”

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