Gaza smuggling tunnel rubble 248.88.
(photo credit: )
CITY — Egyptian forces pumped gas into a cross-border tunnel used to
smuggle goods into the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, killing four
Palestinians, Hamas officials said."We
demand that Egypt explain its
position about what is happening and investigate the circumstances of
this terrible crime and show the truth to the entire world and hold
those responsible accountable," he said.
The Hamas Interior Ministry
later said in a statement the gas used to try to clear the tunnel was
poisonous. Besides those killed, six people were injured, it said.
"This is a terrible crime committed by Egyptian
security against simple Palestinian workers who were trying to earn
their daily bread," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum to The Associated
Press. "It was a killing in cold blood. Hamas and all the Palestinian
people condemn it strongly."
Hamas reopens smuggling tunnels
The United States and
Israel have been pushing Egypt to do more to try to close the tunnels,
which provide Hamas with a lifeline helping it to stay in power in Gaza.
Weapons and other contraband regularly move through the tunnels.
The officials say the Egyptian measures have led to a sharp slowdown in
tunnel traffic in recent months, pinching the local economy.