Less than a week after Hamas’s military wing confirmed the reports that at least 6 terrorists were killed in a tunnel collapse in the Gaza Strip, another similar incident was reported today, in which the nephew of a senior Hamas official was killed.
A Hamas tunnel in Gaza Photo Credit: Al-Risalah / Channel 2 News
Hamas reported this evening (Tuesday) that another tunnel collapsed in central Gaza, and that 23-year-old Ahmad Al-Zahar, the nephew of senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahar, was killed in the incident.
This is the second incident in which a tunnel collapsed in the Gaza Strip within the past week, after several days ago Hamas’s military wing confirmed the reports of a tunnel collapse. “The connection has been lost with a group of fighters who were in a tunnel that collapsed due to weather conditions,” the terror organization announced. “The searches after them are continuing.” Initial reports that came only a short while after the incident claimed that 11 terrorists were killed, but according to more recent reports, three of them were evacuated and another six to eight were killed.
These tunnel collapses serve as another testimony to the vast efforts invested by Hamas in their tunnel system, which they view as being of great strategic importance. Only this week, senior Hamas official Ismail Haniyeh spoke of the terror organization’s ongoing efforts in this regard. “We are continuing to dig tunnels in eastern Gaza and are continuing to conduct rocket tests in the west,” Haniyeh declared. “We are continuing to rehabilitate and upgrade our forces. This is the path to freeing Jerusalem.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the Hamas threats, stressing that if Israel were to be attacked from Hamas tunnels, it would respond with tremendous force. “We are methodically and composedly working against all threats, including the threat posed by Hamas, through both defensive and offensive measures,” Netanyahu stated. “I think this is understood in the region, as well as in the world. I hope we will not be required to do so, but our defense and attacking capabilities are developing with speed and I wouldn’t recommend that anyone try us.”