Thousands mourn Palestinians killed in Gaza fire
The Israeli occupation's blockade on Gaza causes yet another humanitarian tragedy, killing almost two-dozen people in a blaze that broke out in a residential building.
Palestinians from the Gaza Strip took to the streets in the thousands to mourn the 21 people killed in a fire that broke out in an apartment building in the strip, AFP reported on Friday.
The harrowing incident took the lives of seven children after a blaze hit an apartment building in the Strip's Jabalia refugee camp on Thursday night, said Saleh Abu Lai, the head of the Indonesia hospital in the refugee camp.
Though it remains unknown what caused the blaze to break out in the first place, a spokesperson for the civil defense unit told AFP that the residential building had supplies of fuel stored in it.
The coffins were carried atop the mourners' shoulders draped in Palestinian flags, and they walked throughout the camp toward the Beit Lahia cemetery to begin the burial process.
The Israeli occupation-imposed blockades on the Gaza Strip have long been causing supply shortages, causing fires in residential buildings to be common due to Palestinians resorting to unconventional means for cooking and light, such as kerosene lamps, a highly flammable substance.
The Israeli blockade has been in place for the past decade and a half, and it has long been impeding the Strip's economy, industry, and even the health sector as even basic necessities are prohibited from entry.
After more than 15 years since the blockade "Israel" imposed on Gaza in June 2007, crippling its vital sectors, Britain-based NGO Save the Children released a report on the toll the suffocating blockade has had on Gaza children.
In the report called "Trapped", the NGO said that since 2018, the number of those reporting symptoms of "depression, grief, and fear" has risen from 55 to 80%.
Jason Lee, Save the Children's director for occupied Palestine, said the children they spoke to in the making of this report described living "in a perpetual state of fear, worry, sadness and grief."
Save the Children also said that children constitute around half of the 2.1 million people living in the Gaza Strip. Moreover, around 800,000 youths have "never known life without the blockade."
In a statement marking the anniversary of the blockade, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that "Israel", with Egypt's help, "has turned Gaza into an open-air prison."
Meanwhile, the Israeli occupation's blockade of the Gaza Strip has had many grave repercussions for its population, violating the medical rights of some 50% of them, which international law guarantees, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said in September.
1,922 Palestinian patients could not reach specialized hospitals in the occupied West Bank, occupied Al-Quds, and the occupied Palestinian territories in due time, as the Israeli occupation undermines their freedom of travel and uses various pretexts to procrastinate the issuance of permits, leaving many of them without proper treatment due to its arbitrary policies.
Ambulance drivers have been protesting against the status quo in occupied Palestine, which sees the Israeli occupation depriving, or at best restricting, patients of their freedom of movement through its blockade at the Beit Hanoun Crossing in Gaza.
The Ministry of Health in Gaza said some 371 patients in September left the blockaded strip for treatment unaccompanied, marking the highest toll in months.
Patients who are most at risk, mainly cancer and heart disease patients, have their fates practically sealed, as the Israeli occupation always delays issuing exit permits for them, which leads many of them to die due to the lack of proper healthcare.
Patients suffering from kidney disease, especially kidney failure, are subject to a horrid reality, too. They cannot obtain their medication, rendering their condition unstable and spiraling their anemia out of control.
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