Hamas Slams Gaza Blockade After Three Kids Killed in House Fire

Daily Blackouts Forcing People to Use Candles

The deaths of three Palestinian children in a house fire in the Gaza Strip is raising new attention to the electricity crisis in the tiny enclave, as well as the Israeli blockade which is fueling the worst of it.

The fire was reportedly started by an overturned candle, a constant risk throughout the strip as civilians deal with daily blackouts as the strip’s sole power plant is constantly running out of fuel after only a few hours operation. 18 hour daily blackouts are now the norm, making candles all but obligatory.

Getting more fuel isn’t easy, with Israel’s blockade severely limiting the places from which the strip can obtain diesel for the plant, basically making them buy it all from the Palestinian Authority. The PA, in turn, has been raising the taxes on the fuel going to Gaza, meaning the same amount of money in the impoverished strip is buying less and less fuel.

Hamas issued statements after the fire faulting both Israel and the PA for the deaths, saying they are complicit in the deaths. The PA issued a statement condemning Hamas in general, insisting all their claims are false. They did not, however, suggest they were going to do anything to ease the fuel shortages.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.