Thousands of mourners took part on Friday in the funeral of 21 Palestinians in the Jabaliya refugee camp, north of the Gaza Strip, the Palestine Chronicle correspondent in Gaza reported.
At least 21 people, including seven children, died and many others were wounded on Thursday night, after a massive fire engulfed a residential building belonging to the Abu Raya family in Jabaliya.
Mohammed Abu Raya told the Associated Press the extended family had gathered for joint celebrations on the occasion of the birthday of one of the children.
The bodies of the victims were wrapped in Palestinian flags before being buried in the Martyrs’ Graveyard east of the refugee camp.
Preliminary investigations by the Ministry of Interior and National Security said that an amount of benzene was stored in large quantities inside the apartment, which led to the fire outbreak.
Gaza, with a population of 2 million, has been under a hermetic Israeli siege since 2007, when the Palestinian group Hamas won the legislative elections in occupied Palestine. Since then, Israel has carried out numerous bombing campaigns and several major wars, that resulted in the death of thousands of people.
Moreover, the power supply is provided only for a few hours a day, making the Strip chronically short of electricity. This fact forces many Palestinian families to store fuel inside their own homes as an alternative source of energy.
(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)