Israeli occupation forces yesterday bombed a Palestinian tunnel on the eastern borders of Khan Yunis, in the south of the Gaza Strip, killing seven Palestinians and wounding 12, including one who is in a serious condition, Safa news agency reported.
Spokesman of the Ministry of Health in Gaza Ashraf Al-Qidra at first announced the death of one Palestinian, but later the number increased to seven.
The Palestinians killed were identified as Hussam Abdullah Al-Sumairi, 32, Muhammad Marwan Al-Agha, 22, Ahmad Khalil Abu Armaneh, 25, Omar Nassar Al-Falit, 27, Hassan Aaba Hassanein, Mesbah Fayek Shbeir and Arafat Abu Morshed.
The Palestinian Civil Defence forces told Ma’an that rescue teams had saved a number of fighters who were trapped in the tunnel after the explosion, while the Ministry of Health said at the time that the number of people who had been wounded was approximately 12. Search teams had to stop working over night as Israel cut off electricity supplies to the area and pumped poisonous gases into the tunnel.
In a statement, the Israeli army said that the Southern Command carried out the attack on the tunnel which started from Khan Yunis and extended to the military base in Kissufim, Israel, noting that the tunnel was under construction.
Palestinian sources said that Israeli warplanes carried out five strikes near the Palestinian borders in the eastern area of Khan Yunis.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Hamas is responsible for any attempt to undermine Israeli sovereignty,” noting Israel is developing special technologies to uncover tunnels.
“We will harm anyone trying to harm us,” he added.
Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that the tunnel was discovered using modern tools “as we have achieved notable progress regarding the fight on tunnels coming from Gaza.”