A senior commander for the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Hamas movement, has died in the central Gaza Strip.
"Yasser Sabri Radi, 37, a field commander in the Qassam Brigades from Nuseirat Camp in central Gaza, was martyred on Wednesday morning while undertaking a jihad-related task," AFP quoted a statement released by the resistance group.
The statement did not specify the cause of the death, but Palestinian medics said Radi died in a tunnel collapse, the news agency added.
Israel’s fighter jets regularly bombard cross-border tunnels in southern Gaza Strip, saying the Palestinian fighters use them to hide out, store weapons and launch attacks against the Israeli troops.
But Palestinians reject the allegations and describe the tunnels, mostly across the border with Egypt, as live-breeding tubes to push in food and other basic needs into the long-blockaded Gaza Strip.
In June 2006, fighters from Hamas and two other armed Palestinian groups launched a cross-border attack on an Israeli military post, killing two soldiers and captured a third Israeli soldier.
Gilad Shalit is still being held in Gaza, awaiting a prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas, who has demanded the release of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in return.