A member of the Hamas terror group was killed on Saturday when a tunnel collapsed in the Gaza Strip, reports in Palestinian media said.
The official Palestinian news agency WAFA identified the man as Anas Abu Lashin, 22, and said he was a member of Hamas’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.
He was reportedly working in a tunnel in the al-Maghazi area in central Gaza when it caved in.
The Brigades in a statement said Abu Lashin was killed “during preparation” of a tunnel, but did not provide further details.
The Islamist terror movement which controls the coastal enclave has a network of tunnels in the territory, both for smuggling and attack purposes. It was not clear which type of tunnel Abu Lashin was killed in.
The collapse on Saturday is the latest in a series of cave-ins to claim Palestinian lives. Over a dozen Palestinians, most of them reportedly members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, have been killed in collapses since the beginning of the year.
On Friday, the Islamic Jihad — another Gaza-based terror group and longtime ally/rival of Hamas — staged a public show of force in the Strip, with its leader praising Iran and criticizing Arab states.
Thousands of supporters, including fighters from the party’s Al-Quds Brigades military wing, took part in the event.
Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Shalah spoke via a video link, using his speech to accuse some Arab countries of abandoning the Palestinian cause.
“If the Arabs turn their backs on Palestine and embrace Israel, they can no longer condemn the resistance for taking support from Iran,” Shalah said, without naming any countries.
“(Iran) is the only country which commits to the unending support of the Palestinian cause.”
He also called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to abandon the Oslo peace accords signed with Israel in the early 1990s, which were meant to lead to an independent Palestinian state.
Hamas has been in conflict with Abbas’s Fatah movement, which runs the West Bank, since 2007, with multiple attempts at reconciliation faltering. Shalah on Friday called for all Palestinian factions to come together for a “national dialogue.”