Hamas member killed in Gaza tunnel collapse, second in 48 hours

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A Palestinian man emerging from a Gaza tunnel A Palestinian man emerging from a Gaza tunnel

Saturday afternoon another Hamas militant was killed in a separate tunnel collapse



A member of the Gaza based Hamas terror group died Monday when a tunnel collapsed east of Rafah,  the group's military wing the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades said.

The man killed was named as Emir Jaber Al Hamad Abu Taima , 21, from Khan Younis.

Hamas offered no details on the circumstances of the collapse and did not say whether it took place during digging operations or a training exercise.

It is the second tunnel collapse within 48 hours in the coastal enclave.

Saturday afternoon another Hamas militant was killed in a separate tunnel collapse.

A number of tunnels have collapsed inside the Gaza strip this year, killing and injuring dozens.

The Islamist movement, which controls the coastal enclave, and other terrorist groups such as the Islamic Jihad have a network of tunnels in the Israeli-blockaded territory, both for smuggling and military purposes.

Israel accuses Gaza terrorists of building tunnels that could be used to launch attacks against the Jewish State.

Israel destroyed 34 such attack tunnels, at least one of which was used to launch an attack on Israeli soldiers within Israeli, during its 2014 war with Hamas.

Hamas confirmed in June that it is rebuilding its tunnels and residents of southern Israel's communities bordering on Gaza have reported once again hearing digging sounds under their homes.

During previous conflicts with Israel, Hamas forces have used the tunnels to avoid or carry out attacks, store weapons and at times to enter Israel. Hamas claims it needs the tunnels to defend itself against Israeli firepower during a conflict.

In September Israel said it had begun construction on an underground anti-tunnel barrier intended to keep terror tunnels from Gaza from stretching into Israel.

The barrier is meant to prevent militants from entering Israeli territory and kidnapping or killing civilians and soldiers. In addition, it is designed to detect nearby digging and raise the alarm.

Egypt, which shares a border with Gaza, has also destroyed tunnels Palestinians use to smuggle commercial goods, cash, people and weapons.

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