Palestinians flood Gaza streets to mourn 21 people, including at least eight children, killed in apartment fire in Jabalia

Mourners flooded the streets of Gaza to mourn 21 people, including at least eight children, killed in an apartment fire.

Key points:

  • Gaza Interior Ministry investigates, revealing large quantities of gasoline were stored at the site
  • Details of how the fire started remain unclear as there were no survivors
  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declares a day of national mourning

Most of the dead were members of the Abu Rayya family, who had planned to celebrate the return of a relative.

Their bodies were wrapped in Palestinian flags and taken to a mosque for prayers over their souls, before being buried in the martyrs’ cemetery east of the Jabalia refugee camp.

The Islamist group Hamas, which has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, offered the victims a military funeral.

It took firefighters more than an hour to bring massive flames under control as they erupted on the top floor of a four-story residential building in Jabalia, one of eight refugee camps in the Gaza Strip.

About 2.3 million people live in the camp, one of the most densely populated areas on the planet.

The victims were wrapped in Palestinian flags before their burial. (Reuters: Ibrahim Abu Mustafa )

Details of how or why the fire started remained unclear as there were no survivors, said clan leader Abu Ahmad Abu Rayya.

“A father, his children and his grandchildren, none of them came out alive to tell us what happened,” Mr Abu Rayya told the crowd in a strained voice.

Crowds took to the streets of Gaza to mourn those killed in the fire. (Reuters: Ibrahim Abu Mustafa )

Gaza’s interior ministry said it had launched an investigation into the incident, which revealed large amounts of gasoline had been stored at the site, possibly fueling the blaze which quickly engulfed building.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called it a national tragedy and declared Friday a day of mourning.

Several Arab States, the United Nations and the European Union expressed their condolences to the bereaved families.

Details of how the fire started remain unclear. (Reuters: Ibrahim Abu Mustafa)

Palestinian officials said the nearly 15-year blockade of Gaza had undermined their efforts to improve the ability of the enclave’s civil emergency service to fight fires, especially in high-rise buildings.


. Palestinians flood the streets Gaza for cry people including less eight children killed in the fire of a apartment Jabalia

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