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Palestinian fighter killed in tunnel collapse in northern Gaza

July 10, 2016 11:49 A.M. (Updated: July 10, 2016 4:58 P.M.)
GAZA (Ma'an) -- A member of Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, was killed on Sunday in a tunnel collapse in the northern Gaza Strip.

Local security sources said Ibrahim al-Masri, 28, was killed after a tunnel collapsed on a group of Palestinian fighters.

The sources said that the remainder of the group survived and were evacuated.

A number of Palestinians in Gaza have been killed in the vast tunnel networks that lie below the besieged enclave, which are largely used for smuggling in the coastal enclave's south and military purposes in the north.

The Hamas movement which governs the blockaded Palestinian territory has been allegedly reconstructing a vast tunnel network intended to be used for carrying out attacks on Israeli military targets and civilians, swathes of which were destroyed during Israel's brutal offensive on Gaza in 2014.

While the tunnels are used by Hamas as a source of tax revenue and inflow of weapons from the south, they also supply highly-demanded necessities for Gazans including food, medicine, and much-needed infrastructure materials.

The Institute for Palestine Studies reported in 2012 that Hamas authorities had counted 160 deaths inside the tunnels since the Israeli blockade began in 2007, and in August 2014, al-Jazeera reported that figure to be as high as 400.

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