A Palestinian tunnel builder was electrocuted while digging a passage under the Gaza-Egyptian border on Sunday.
Ashraf al-Qidra, a spokesperson for the Hamas Health Ministry, named the man as Bassam Ismail al-Farmawi from Rafah, the independent Ma’an news agency reported.
Farmawi was taken to Abu Yousif al-Najjar Hospital in the Gaza Strip but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Hamas, which rules in Gaza, uses tunnels into Egypt as a way to circumvent the Israeli and Egyptian blockades on the coastal territory and smuggle in weapons, building supplies, fuel and consumer goods.
Since the ouster of Egypt’s Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in July, however, the Egyptian military has clamped down on tunneling after it became clear that the subterranean routes also facilitated the transfer of military supplies, equipment and personnel to Islamist militias operating in the northern Sinai Peninsula.
In October, a senior Hamas official said that Egypt’s closure of smuggling tunnels between the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip was costing the organization hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue.
The closures are also affecting the general population, as the loss of fuel supplies through the tunnel has forced Gaza’s only power plant to shut down, causing power outages that last as long as 12 hours.
Egypt also has halted transfers of Qatari-funded fuel and frequently closed the Rafah border crossing because of attacks on Egyptian security forces in the lawless Sinai Peninsula.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.