Three Palestinian's killed in Gaza tunnel 'flooded by Egypt'

Egypt has flooded dozens of smuggling tunnels since last year.

December 4, 2016 12:30
1 minute read.
A PALESTINIAN TERRORIST climbs out of a tunnel in the Gaza Strip during a graduation ceremony in Raf

A PALESTINIAN TERRORIST climbs out of a tunnel in the Gaza Strip during a graduation ceremony in Rafah earlier this month.. (photo credit: SUHAIB SALEM / REUTERS)

Rescue workers on Sunday discovered the bodies of three Gazans who went missing last week after the tunnel they were in collapsed.

The search for a fourth missing man is ongoing.

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According to the Hamasrun al-Aksa radio, the smuggling tunnel caved in after it was flooded by the Egyptian military. The incident is the latest in a series of tunnel collapses in recent months that have claimed the lives of dozens of Palestinians, many of whom are said to be members of Hamas’s Izzadin Kassam Brigades.

Hamas is said to be digging 10 kilometers of tunnels toward Israel each month.

Israel has invested more than NIS 600 million in tunnel-detection technology since the end of Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has taken an uncompromising approach on smuggling tunnels since coming to power that same year and began flooding tunnels beneath the Gaza-Egypt border in 2015, destroying most.

Hamas has demanded that Egypt stop flooding the tunnels, which Cairo says are used to smuggle weapons to jihadists.

Sisi has accused Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, of providing material support to Islamic State terrorists in Sinai who have carried out numerous deadly attacks on Egyptian security forces.

Despite the small size of the Islamic State group in Sinai, it is considered by many to be one of the most effective Islamic State franchises in the region and Egypt has been carrying out extensive military operations against it.

Last year, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz stated that some of the flooding by Egypt had been done to “certain extent at Israel’s request” as security cooperation with Egypt was “better than ever.”

Steinitz was later forced to retract his comments.

Meanwhile, Palestinian sources in Gaza reported that Hamas Civilian Defense drills are taking place in the Gaza Strip, with the armed group launching rockets toward the sea in the morning.

Also Sunday morning, Israeli naval boats fired shots in the direction of Palestinian fishermen while sailing off of the coast of Gaza city this morning before they returned to Gaza.

A few hours later, the navy fired warning shots toward another boat, which ignored the shots, leading to the detainment of two fisherman and seizure of their boat.

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