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Hamas fighter dies of electric shock inside Gaza tunnel

Aug. 13, 2016 4:07 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 14, 2016 4:52 P.M.)
File
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A member of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas movement, was killed by an electric shock on Saturday while working inside a tunnel in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The military wing released a statement confirming the death of Muhammad Shlouf from the city of Gaza.

A number of Palestinians in Gaza have been injured and 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.

In April and May, Israeli forces claimed to have uncovered the first two tunnels crossing from the Gaza Strip into Israel since the brutal Israeli offensive on Gaza in 2014.

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 the war.

Israeli officials have accused Hamas of "preparing" for another war with Israel and have threatened retaliatory measures against the Gaza Strip as a whole. However, despite Hamas' inflammatory rhetoric against Israel, the movement has not officially claimed responsibility for any military action from Gaza against Israel since the 2014 war.

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 -- who have been trapped under Israeli siege for a decade -- 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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