Egypt Watch

Egyptian military kills three Palestinian workers with poison gas

The Ministry of Interior of Hamas in the Gaza Strip said that its Civil Defence teams pulled out the bodies of three Palestinian workers who died in a tunnel crossing the Gaza-Egypt border.

The spokesman of Gaza’s Ministry of Interior, Eyad Albazm, added in a press statement that the workers were pulled out from an underground tunnel in the south of Rafah after part of the tunnel collapsed over them on Thursday and the rescue teams searched for them over two consecutive days. The deaths included workers Wessam Ayad, 22, and Eissa Aboul Hosoum, 25.

AFP quoted eyewitness who said that the workers were bombed with poison gas before the partial collapse of the tunnel, what was confirmed by two statements issued by the National and Islamic Forces Committee in Gaza and the Resistance Factions, which condemned the Egyptian authorities for killing Palestinian workers in a border commercial tunnel. The statements demanded the Egyptian authorities investigate the incident. Security bodies in Gaza opened an investigation to detect the causes of the workers’ death, while no official comment was issued by the Egyptian authorities.

The border area between Gaza and Egypt contains an unknown number of commercial tunnels, which are used by the Palestinians to pass goods from Egypt to circumvent the Israeli siege over Gaza and the closure of the crossing with Egypt. Since 2013, the Egyptian military has launched a campaign to destroy tunnels and succeeded in eliminating hundreds of them.