Second construction accident in week’s time; Two dead following seven over the weekend
For the second time in a week’s time, Hamas’s military al-Qassam Brigades confirmed an additional accident during construction of a tunnel resulting in the death of two of their militants.
Hamas reported that militants Fuad Abu Atewi, a Hamas field commander and Ahmad Haider al-Zahar, were killed on Wednesday. According to Hamas, the militants were working in construction of a tunnel in southern Gaza near the border with Egypt.
Last week, Hamas confirmed that seven of its militants were killed while reconstructing a tunnel in the Gaza Strip, four surviving the event.
During Operation Protective Edge over the summer of 2014, Israel’s Defense Force destroyed 32 terror tunnels, 14 of the tunnels with openings into Israeli territory. Hamas’s terror tunnel construction is financially supported by Iran and reports of funding from Hezbollah. According to reports by the IDF, each tunnel cost around $3 million to construct.
Prime Minister Netanyahu warned the terrorist organization that “If we are attacked from the tunnels in the Gaza Strip we will respond with great force against Hamas, with much greater force then we used during Operation Protective Edge. I think they understand this in the region, and in the world. I hope we do not need to do this, but our defensive and offensive capabilities are developing rapidly, and I do not suggest that anyone test us.”
The construction of new tunnels or repair of damaged tunnels is in violation of the ceasefire agreement made between Israel and Hamas, through Egypt.