JERUSALEM – At least two Hamas terrorists were killed on Sunday when a tunnel collapsed in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian media cited conflicting death tolls, with some reports saying as many as five operatives were killed in the collapse. The tunnel was located between the southern Gaza Strip border town of Rafah and the northwestern part of the Sinai Peninsula.
According to one report, the tunnel collapsed after unseasonable rainfall, while another accused Egypt of blowing up the entrance to the tunnel on the Egyptian side.
Over the past months, Egypt has sought to destroy all tunnels connecting Gaza to Egypt and accused Hamas of smuggling wounded terrorists from Sinai into Gaza for medical treatment.
The incident was the 12th such report in 2016.
At least 16 people have been killed so far in tunnel collapses in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli officials have linked many of the recent tunnel collapses to Hamas’ shortage of materials such as wood and cement.
Israel last week halted shipments of cement intended for the private sector in Gaza, saying that Hamas steals the materials to construct tunnels.
An IDF officer responsible for the transfer of goods into and out of Gaza earlier this year avoided a question on whether Israel was responsible for the frequent tunnel collapses in the Gaza Strip.
Asked by the West Bank-based Palestinian Ma’an news agency if Israel had anything to do with the tunnel collapses, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories answered cryptically, “Only God knows.”