The Islamist Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip confirmed Wednesday that two of the group’s members died when a tunnel collapsed as they were working on it in the south of the coastal enclave, Times of Israel reports.
Hamas said that field commander Fuad Abu Atewi and fighter Ahmad Haider al-Zahar were killed Tuesday outside Khan Younis, which is near the Strip’s border with Egypt.
Last week, the group confirmed that seven of its members were killed in a tunnel collapse in northern Gaza.
The collapse on January 26 occurred amid heavy winter rain. Hamas accused Israel of causing the collapse by opening dams to flood Gaza with water — an annual claim made by Palestinians and flatly rejected by Israel. There are no dams in southern Israel.
In a bid to keep a lid on last week’s disaster, Hamas forbade local media from reporting the incident.