A senior Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri has held Egypt responsible for the death of four Palestinians killed in a border tunnel and has demanded for an impartial investigation.
Speaking at a press conference in Gaza on Thursday, Abu Zuhri strongly condemned Cairo's application of gas against Palestinian citizens. The Hamas official also demanded Egypt to conduct an immediate probe into the incident and to prosecute the perpetrators, the International Middle East Media Center reported.
"This is not the first time Egypt launches poison gas attacks against tunnel workers. At least 40 tunnel workers have been poisoned by toxic gasses since the siege on Gaza began. A total of 145 have lost their lives in various events," Abu Zuhri pointed out.
The Hamas spokesperson noted that the tunnels are being used by the Palestinians to bring essential goods such as food and medicine into the besieged Gaza Strip. He added that all border crossings must open and that Cairo should not pump gas into cross-border tunnels.
Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported on Wednesday evening that four Palestinians were killed and nine others were wounded after the Egyptian security forces pumped gas into a border tunnel.
The sources identified the victims as Mohammad Ali Abu Jamous, 25, his brother Osama, 20, Khaled al-Ramlawi, 20, and Nidal Jeda, 25.
Israel has closed all border crossings to the Gaza Strip for more than two years. The illegal Israeli imposed blockade on the Gaza Strip, which has steadily tightened since 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the coastal enclave.
In Gaza Strip some 1.5 million people are denied their basic rights, including freedom of movement, and the right to safe, secure and healthy living conditions. Poverty and unemployment rates now stand at approximately 80% and 60% respectively in the costal enclave.