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Hamas operative killed in Gaza tunnel collapse

Member of terror group dies in cave-in, a common occurrence during digging and repair work in underground smuggling and attack shafts

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)

A member of the Hamas terror group was killed Sunday night in a tunnel collapse in the Gaza Strip, the organization said.

It was not immediately clear whether the tunnel was one used for smuggling goods over the Egyptian border or a shaft intended for infiltration and attacks against Israel.

Tunnel deaths have been a common occurrence in the Strip.

In February three Palestinians died in a smuggling tunnel between Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula after inhaling toxic gas while conducting repair work. Several Hamas members have been killed in collapses since the beginning of the year.

Last year, 22 members of Hamas’s armed wing were killed while “preparing equipment,” the group has said, the majority in a string of tunnel collapses.

Gaza terrorists have dug dozens of tunnels, many reaching across the border into Israel, to launch attacks in the Jewish state.

Israel destroyed many of them during its 2014 war with Hamas, but Hamas has since been rebuilding the network.

Dov Lieber contributed to this report.

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