Hamas, the terrorist group that controls Gaza, announced that two of its members died in separate tunnel collapses, The Jerusalem Post reported Friday.
The two dead men were identified as Khalil al-Dimyati, 32, and Yusef Abu Abed, 22 and were killed in “resistance tunnels,” the term Hamas uses for tunnels built as part of its military infrastructure.
Hamas confirmed that both men belonged to its Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.
One of the tunnel collapses occurred in Khan Yhounis and the other was in Gaza City.
The residents of Gaza have suffered a dramatic loss in living standards ever since the terrorist group Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007 in a violent coup against the Palestinian Authority.
Avi Issacharoff, Palestinian affairs correspondent for The Times of Israel, observed this past June, “those who took control of Gaza in a military coup and since then invested more than $1 billion in their military infrastructure, could have easily directed their resources to resolve Gaza’s problems. But what is the value of another few hours of electricity for the people of Gaza, compared to another few tunnels or rockets?”
Veteran Palestinian affairs correspondent Khaled Abu Toameh made a similar observation about Hamas’ priorities in February 2016. The expense and effort that Hamas puts into building attack tunnels while Gaza is mired in poverty shows that “the last thing Hamas cares about is the welfare of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip,” he wrote.
Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser, formerly the head of the research division of Israeli military intelligence and later the director general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, told reporters in May of last year that the discovery of terror tunnels inside Israel was a sign that Hamas was preparing for another war. He added that the tunnel digging means that “they definitely invest a lot in making the necessary preparations so that in the next round, when they decide to start it, they will be able to inflict the heaviest damage on Israel, including through those tunnels.”
Israel went to war with Hamas in the summer of 2014 in order to stop the terrorist group from firing rockets at civilians and eliminate the threat posed by its tunnels. Israel completely withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, two years before Hamas took over the territory after a civil war with Fatah. According to the IDF, Palestinian terror groups have launched over 11,000 rockets at Israel since it withdrew from Gaza in 2005, with over five million Israeli civilians living under threat of rocket fire.
[Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash 90]