The al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, said seven of its fighters were buried under the rubble when a border tunnel collapsed on them, on Tuesday evening, and that four other fighters managed to exit the tunnel.The Brigades stated that the tunnel collapsed due to heavy rain while the fighters were conducting maintenance work.

After the tunnel collapsed, al-Qassam announced it lost communication with what it called an “elite unit,” while it members were in the tunnel.

The Brigades identified the fighters as Ghazwan Khamis Ash-Shobaki, 25, Waseem Mohammad Hassouna, 19, Nidal Majdi Odah, 24, Mahmoud Talal Bassal, 25, Jaafar Ala’ Hamada, 23, Thabet Abdullah Ar-Rifi, 25, and Ezzeddin Omar Qassem, 21; all from Gaza City.