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Has Hamas lost its monopoly on tunnel business in Gaza?

Islamic Jihad announced July 10 the death of one of its members after a tunnel collapsed, which signals that Hamas is no longer the only movement that makes use of tunnels in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian fighters from the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, are seen inside an underground tunnel in Gaza August 18, 2014. A rare tour that Hamas granted to a Reuters reporter, photographer and cameraman appeared to be an attempt to dispute Israel's claim that it had demolished all of the Islamist group's border infiltration tunnels in the Gaza war. Picture taken August 18, 2014. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT) - RTR42YKK

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Until recently, Hamas has been the only movement that has used tunnels since the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip took full effect in 2007. Hamas' use of the tunnels had started to increase after the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in the summer of 2006 during a Gaza cross-border raid. Its use of the tunnels increased further during the 2014 war as it used the tunnels to launch missiles, carry out attacks against Israeli forces and kidnap soldiers. However, these tunnels appear to no longer be the preserve of Hamas — Islamic Jihad has joined in.

On July 10, Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of Islamic Jihad, issued a statement in which it announced for the first time the death of one of its members following the collapse of a tunnel established by the resistance in the northern Gaza Strip. However, Al-Quds Brigades provided no further details on whether the tunnel was established by Islamic Jihad alone or jointly with Hamas.

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