Tens of thousands of Palestinians marched in Gaza on Friday afternoon in the funeral procession of the seven Qassam Brigades fighters, who died in a collapse of a tunnel they were fixing in a border area. Groups of resistance fighters gathered near the family homes of the martyrs before taking them to the Omari Mosque where Ismail Haneyya, deputy political bureau chairman of Hamas, delivered the Friday Khutba (sermon) then recited the final prayers for them They were then taken in a massive funeral to be laid to rest.
Observers at the scene estimated the number of those taking part in the procession to be at around quarter of a million. Civil defense crews had exerted big efforts until they could retrieve the bodies from the collapsed tunnel on Thursday night. The Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, had mourned the death of the seven members of its elite force after the tunnel they were maintaining collapsed over their heads due to bad weather conditions.