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Gaza Residential Building Fire Kills 21

    Gaza Residential Building Fire Kills 21
    Last updated: 1 week ago
    Image credit: AFP [via Al Jazeera]

    Facts

    • On Thursday, a fire erupted during birthday celebrations in a Gaza apartment, spreading quickly through the four-story building in Jabalia refugee camp. At least 21 people were killed, including many children, and several others were injured. [1]
    • An initial investigation revealed that large amounts of gasoline had been stored at the site. No one inside the residence survived. [2]
    • The densely-populated Gaza Strip has been under Israeli blockade since 2007, leaving the electricity supply sparse, and forcing Gazans to seek alternative sources for cooking and light. It's not unusual for families to store cooking gas, diesel, and gasoline in their homes. [3]
    • The Palestinian Authority called on Israel to open its border crossing with Gaza to allow for the evacuation of those injured. Israel granted the request via its Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who tweeted, "Israel will be right to help the residents of Gaza who were harmed, in order to save lives." [4]
    • Three generations tragically succumbed in the flames — a couple, their five sons and one daughter, two daughters-in-law, and 11 grandchildren. [5]
    • Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, offered condolences to the families of the dead, calling the incident a national tragedy and announcing a day of mourning. [6]
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    Spin

    Pro-Palestine

    Israel is responsible for this tragedy due to its inhumane 15-year blockade of Gaza. The blockade affected the speed at which firefighters could battle the fire, as there are restrictions or bans for bringing equipment and machinery. This was an avoidable catastrophe.

    Pro-Israel

    Israel has expressed its sympathy for the serious disaster and immediately offered to support Palestinians in the humanitarian evacuation. This is a tragic event, and Israel will provide life-saving medical aid to Gaza residents.

    Narrative C

    Due to the geopolitical situation in Gaza, local civil defense services aren't adequately equipped to tackle such emergencies effectively. Both Israel and Palestinian authorities need to work together to prioritize public safety when these incidents occur.

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