Monday, November 12, 2012

Medical official: 2-year-old killed in Gaza house fire

Maan News Agency

Published today 11:54
Boys hold candles during a protest in Gaza City against widespread
blackouts. (Reuters/file)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A toddler was killed and two other people wounded in a house fire on Sunday in the Sabra neighborhood of Gaza City, a medical official said.

Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman of Gaza's health ministry, told Ma'an that Ashraf Shadi Kali, 2, died and his father and one-year old brother Muhammad were injured in the blaze.

The fire was caused by candles the family had lit during an electricity blackout in the neighborhood. The house was completely destroyed by the fire.

In September, at least 500 protesters in the Gaza Strip called for the overthrow of the ruling Hamas government in a rare demonstration triggered by the death of a three-year-old boy in a fire during a power outage.

Protesters in the Bureij refugee camp, where the boy's family lived, called for Hamas to be toppled and chanted "The people want to down the regime", echoing slogans adopted in Arab revolutions in neighboring countries.

Three children were killed earlier in the year by similar fires during an outage.

Hamas blamed the electricity shortages on Egypt which it says is restricting the flow of fuel, and on Israel, which imposed a blockade on the coastal enclave in 2007 when Hamas seized control from the Western-backed Fatah.