Four Palestinians were killed on Wednesday 28 April inside one of the tunnels along the Egyptian-Gaza border, after inhaling lethal doses of toxic gases. The Egyptian authorities have been accused of pumping the poisoned gases into the tunnels intending to disable and cut off the essential life line of the Palestinians in Gaza. Seven other Palestinian workers were injured and were taken to the near by Abi Yousef Al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah.
Colonel Youssef Al-Zahar, director of Civil Defence in the Gaza Strip, confirmed that defence crews had recovered the bodies of 'four martyrs' in the west of the Salah al Din Gate after the release of toxic gases by the Egyptian authorities inside the tunnel, which later collapsed.
The Interior Ministry in Gaza, in a statement issued early on Thursday 29 April, said this was not the first time that this had occurred, and that the pumping of toxic gases and waste water in the tunnels, in addition to the detonation of bombs, have resulted in tunnels collapsing and the deaths of desperate civilians trying to feed their families and improve their dire situation in whatever way they can.
The Occupying Forces continue to impose a strict siege on the Gaza Strip, which has been going on for nearly four years, banning essential basic food, goods and other amenities and closing all commercial crossings prompting hundreds of residents to dig tunnels under the border between Rafah and Egypt to bring in these goods.
The Israeli Occupation Forces and Egyptian security forces have killed over 150 Palestinians in these tunnels. Although, there is no law regulating the operation of these tunnels, the government in Gaza has been forced to regulate their operational activities.
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad