Reports of the death of two Palestinian tunnel workers by the border between the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah and Egypt conflicted on Thursday.

Palestinians held Israel responsible, while Israel declined to comment.

Ashraf al-Qedra, Gaza health ministry spokesman, said in a statement emailed to reporters that Israeli fighters struck a commercial tunnel beneath the borders between the southern Gaza Strip and Egypt, killing two tunnels workers and wounding five others.

Eyewitnesses who were at the funeral of one of the two workers in Rafah said that the tunnel opening on the Egyptian side was struck, not the Palestinian side, and both workers were killed.

However, they added that it might have been an Israeli reconnaissance drone which fired the missiles and killed both tunnel workers.

Al-Qedra said that Husam al-Sofi, a resident in the town of Rafah in the Gaza Strip and Mohamed el-Aqra’a, 38, resident of Gaza City were both killed, and five others were wounded, adding that the injured were transferred to Abu Yousef al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah.

Rafah residents and other tunnels workers ruled out that Egypt might be responsible for attacking the tunnel and killing two of their colleagues, confirming that both rockets were fired from a drone which directly hit the two workers at the tunnel opening.

Hamas in Gaza declined to comment, and none of its officials are taking journalists’ calls.

However, sources speaking on condition of anonymity said Hamas may believe Egypt was behind the tunnel attack, yet it does not want to damage its fractured ties with Egypt, which recently improved.

An Israeli army spokesman told Israeli Public Radio on Thursday that the Israeli army didn’t attack the borders between the southern Gaza Strip and Egypt.

Last week, a senior Hamas military delegation ended a three-day visit in Egypt after discussing security issues and arrangements between Gaza, ruled by Hamas since 2017, and Egypt.

The killing of both tunnels workers coincided with an overnight rocket attack carried out by radical militants in the Egyptian Peninsula of Sinai.

The militants fired seven makeshift rockets toward southern Israel, according to an Israeli army spokesman, adding that the Iron Dome intercepted three rockets.

Israeli media quoted an Israeli army spokesman as saying that the other four rockets landed in empty areas in the suburbs of the southern Israeli city of Eilat, beside the Israeli and Egyptian borders, with no reported casualties.

Media reports said that the IS claimed responsibility for the attack.

A couple of days ago, Israeli warplanes launched 17 successive airstrikes against Gazan military posts and facilities belong to the Islamic Hamas armed wing and other militant groups.

Israel’s airstrikes against Gaza was in retaliation to the firing of two makeshift rockets form the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave against Israel.

In 2014, Egypt brokered a cease-fire deal between the Gazan Hamas-led militant groups and Israel, ending 50 days of a wide-scale Israeli air and ground military offensive against Gaza which killed 2,200 and injured 11,000 others.

Meanwhile, approximately 70 Israelis were killed and two Israeli soldiers remain missing. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here