21 Killed in Gaza Strip Apartment Fire
Palestinian firefighters extinguish flames in an apartment ravaged by fire in the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, on Nov. 17, 2022. (Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty Images)

21 Killed in Gaza Strip Apartment Fire

At least 21 Palestinians, including seven children, were killed and several others were injured on Thursday when a massive fire swept through a home in the Jabalia refugee camp, in the northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian security and medical sources said. The fire, which started on the top floor of a four-story residential building, was caused by the improper storage of large amounts of gasoline, the Interior Ministry in the Gaza Strip said. A large party was being hosted in the apartment, home to the Abu Raya family, when the fire broke out. Ahmed Abu Raya, head of a bureau in the Hamas government’s Labor Ministry, is believed to be among the victims.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared a day of mourning on Friday.

Israel offered to evacuate the wounded to the West Bank for medical treatment. Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in a statement, “The State of Israel and the security establishment express sorrow for the heavy disaster in Gaza. The coordinator of government operations in the territories submitted an offer to assist in the humanitarian evacuation of casualties to the hospitals.”

The Palestinian Authority expressed appreciation for the offer and said it would make an official request if needed.

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