Behold, you are trusting in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. Isaiah 36:6 (The Israel Bible™)
One Hamas operative and a civilian worker were reportedly killed last night in a smuggling tunnel after Egyptian forces identified the opening and pumped poisonous gas.
The initial report was confirmed by Iyad al-Bozm, a spokesman for the Hamas regime in Gaza said Monday. The Hamas terrorist was identified as 39-year-old Abdel Hamid al-Akker and the second Gazan killed, was identified as 28-year-old Sobhi Abu Qarshin. The latter was said killed during a rescue attempt. The type of gas used has so far not been revealed.
Palestinian civil defense teams rush to rescue 9 missing workers inside a smuggling tunnel in Rafah after Egyptian forces identified the opening on their side and pumped the shaft with poisonous gases.
— Gaza Report – اخبار غزة (@gaza_report) February 10, 2019
Hamas made similar claims about Egypt using poison gas to attack its terrorists operating in cross border tunnels between Gaza and Sinai two years ago. In February 2017, three Palestinians were killed in a tunnel in very similar circumstances.
According to a report in The Jerusalem Post, in January, “the Egyptian military announced that it had destroyed 37 cross-border tunnels linking the Gaza Strip to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula over the past year.”
Since the 2013 ousting of Mohammed Morsi, the Egyptian military has increasingly cracked down on Hamas’ cross-border tunnels. Morsi belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been a long-time funder and ideological inspiration for Hamas.
Israel has also been active in attempting to both destroy cross-border tunnels from Hamas-run Gaza into Israeli territory. In 2018, Israel claimed to have destroyed 15 attack tunnels. The Israeli security establishment argues the tunnels are not used to smuggle weapons or goods, but operatives to carry out mass casualty attacks and / or kidnappings.
Earlier in the year, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi claimed in a CBS News interview that Israel and Egypt enjoyed unprecedented military cooperation in the Sinai. In addition to cross-border Hamas smuggling tunnels, Egypt is also at the forefront of attempting to deal with ISIS in its Sinai region.