In Gaza, a house fire kills 21 people
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A “tragedy”, headline the two main Palestinian newspapers, Al Ayyam and Al-Quds. On the night of Thursday November 17, 21 people, including many children, died in a house fire in the Gaza Strip.

Following this tragedy, the deadliest domestic fire since 2020, the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, declared a day of national mourning.

“A tragedy claims the lives of 21 people, including several children, west of the Jabaliya refugee camp” in the northern Gaza Strip, headlines the Palestinian daily Al-Quds, edition of Friday, November 18, 2022. PHOTO / SCREENSHOT / AL-QUDS

According to the daily Al Ayyamone of the families living in the three-story house in the Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern part of the Palestinian enclave was having a birthday party.

Whereas “candles were lit”, a gas leak broke out in the apartment, causing a fire that quickly spread to neighboring apartments, then to the upper floors. A stock of fuel inside the apartment where the fire broke out amplified the flames, the newspaper explains.

The blockade, an aggravating factor

Firefighters had great difficulty in extinguishing the fire, brought under control after several hours and the dispatch of teams from other neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli blockade, in force for more than fifteen years in this area, prevents the transport of certain equipment or the repair of other equipment that has broken down.

Beyond mourning and pain, “Calls to learn from this fire and to protect citizens have already been made, as winter approaches and heating appliances, which could be the cause of similar accidents, start to be turned on ”, writing Al Ayyam.

The Gaza Strip is often the scene of domestic fires, mainly due to the lack of power supply. Residents receive light and heat from generators and heaters that run primarily on fuel oil and coal.

Hundreds of demonstrators attended, Friday, November 18, the funeral of the 21 people who died during this tragic event.

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