The Hamas movement has criticised Egyptian security forces after four Palestinians were killed when a smuggling tunnel from the country’s Sinai desert region into the Gaza Strip was destroyed.
Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin said Egyptian authorities had warned the Palestinians that the tunnel would be destroyed, before using gas canisters and dynamite to blow it up on Wednesday.
“Every few weeks, every few months, there are these incidents where the Egyptian authorities drop gas canisters followed by dynamite or explosives into the tunnels in trying to collapse them,” he said.
“The Egyptians often warn the Palestinians [before the attacks]. Whether or not that warning is heeded though is really dependent on who is there at the specific time.
He said that the tunnels are poorly constructed.
“Many of them collapse. In fact, more than 45 Palestinians have died in cave-ins. More than 40 has died as a result of direct attacks by the Egyptians in these attempts to stop [smuggling].