Gazans mourn 21 dead in residential building fire – Xinhua

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Mourners carry the flag-draped bodies of people who died in a massive fire during a funeral in the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip on November 18, 2022. At least 21 Palestinians, including Seven children were killed and more than 30 others were injured Thursday in a violent fire inside a residential building in the northern Gaza Strip, security and medical sources said. (Photo by Rizek Abdeljawad/Xinhua)

GAZA, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) — Thousands of Gazans attended Friday the funeral of 21 family members who died in a fire at a residential building in the Palestinian enclave.

During the day, shops and markets were closed in most parts of the Gaza Strip while some local residents called off their weddings to express their condolences to the families of the victims.

The 21 people, including seven children, lost their lives in the massive fire Thursday evening during a family reunion at their home in the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip.

In the West Bank, Palestinian flags were flown at half-mast in front of official Palestinian institutions and foreign embassies or diplomatic missions, according to official sources.

In a statement sent to Xinhua, Gaza’s interior ministry said those killed in the fire belonged to a single family, adding that the fire did not spread to surrounding buildings.

Preliminary investigations indicated that a large amount of fuel stored inside the house may have been the cause of the fire, according to the ministry statement.

In the afternoon, thousands of Gazans, including women and children, as well as representatives of some Palestinian political factions, such as Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Jihad, attended the mass funeral at the Beit Cemetery. Lahia.

Jamil Alyan, a senior Hamas figure, said at the funeral that a factor leading to the tragedy is the lack of basic necessities, mainly electricity and fuel, in Gaza during years of Israeli blockade.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a statement describing the incident as a “national disaster”, calling on all responsible parties to pool all possible resources to help the families of the victims.

Mohammed al-Sayed, an eyewitness from Jabalia, told Xinhua that the victims were trapped in the fire for “more than an hour”.

Late Thursday, eyewitnesses said ambulances and civil defense personnel worked for hours to control the blaze, while local security and medical sources said more than 30 people were injured in the fire. ‘fire.

Mourning for the victims of the fire, Gaza resident Mariam al-Halabi called on local authorities to carry out a thorough investigation into the exact causes.

Mourners carry the flag-draped bodies of people who died in a massive fire during a funeral in the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip on November 18, 2022. At least 21 Palestinians, including Seven children were killed and more than 30 others were injured Thursday in a violent fire inside a residential building in the northern Gaza Strip, security and medical sources said. (Photo by Rizek Abdeljawad/Xinhua)

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