Hamas fighter said killed in tunnel collapse
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Hamas fighter said killed in tunnel collapse

Amid reports of terror group rebuilding infrastructure, Qassam Brigades says ‘martyr’ dies while digging new tunnel

Palestinian terrorists from the Islamic Jihad's armed wing, the Al-Quds Brigades, squat in a tunnel, used for ferrying rockets and mortars back and forth in preparation for the next conflict with Israel, as they take part in military training in the south of the Gaza Strip, on March 3, 2015. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)
Palestinian terrorists from the Islamic Jihad's armed wing, the Al-Quds Brigades, squat in a tunnel, used for ferrying rockets and mortars back and forth in preparation for the next conflict with Israel, as they take part in military training in the south of the Gaza Strip, on March 3, 2015. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)

Amid growing reports of Hamas rebuilding its subterranean infrastructure, the terrorist group on Saturday announced that one of its members was killed while digging a tunnel in the northern Gaza Strip.

Nihad Khalif, 30, of the town of Beit Lahiya, died when a tunnel collapsed near the border with Israel, the group’s armed wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, said on social media.

The report of the fighter’s death came amid sustained efforts by Hamas to rebuild its offensive capabilities against Israel, including the conscription of new fighters, rehabilitating its cross-border attack tunnels, and restocking its rocket arsenal with longer-distance rockets.

According to a Times of Israel report in April, Hamas has begun using heavy machinery and engineering tools to accelerate the excavation of attack tunnels leading from the Gaza Strip under the Israeli border. The equipment, sources in the Palestinian enclave said, includes small bulldozers with the ability to maneuver in tight spaces.

The Qassam Brigades shared a photo of the dead man on Twitter, and hailed him as a martyr.

https://twitter.com/qassam_arabic1/status/594474634818363392

Earlier in the day, Islamic Jihad said one of its operatives was killed during operations in the northern Gaza Strip.

Gaza-based media also reported Saturday that a senior member of an armed group in the Palestinian enclave was convicted of collaboration with Israel and summarily executed in Khan Younis.

The 49-year-old man was arrested two months ago and confessed to passing information to the IDF during last summer’s war in the Gaza Strip, Channel 2 cited Palestinian reports saying.

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