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Fire destroys shop in Gaza, amid rise in accidents as electricity crisis deepens

Jan. 11, 2017 1:24 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 11, 2017 11:01 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A fire broke out in a grocery story in the Khan Yunis district of the southern besieged Gaza Strip Tuesday evening, destroying its contents, with no human casualties reported.

Witnesses told Ma'an that all the commodities in a grocery store, which is owned by Muhammad Barka in the town of Bani Suheila in eastern Khan Yunis, were completely burned.

Firefighters were eventually able to control the blaze.
Fire accidents in the Gaza Strip have increased sharply over the past few years due to the use of candles or portable electricity generators, as the besieged coastal enclave has been suffering from a crippling power crisis and hours-long blackouts every day.

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip took to the streets on Sunday and Monday to protest the ever-worsening electricity situation, as Gazans have been having to cope with only three hours of power in between 12-hour-long blackouts.

The Palestinian NGOs' Network (PNGO) warned of the dangerous consequences of continuous electricity crises. The network said in statement that numerous sectors, in particular healthcare and sewage systems, were greatly suffering as a result of the blackouts.

PNGO noted that many families lived in caravans with no alternative means to obtain electricity for light and heat in the cold winter weather.

The group stressed in its statement that it was the “ethical and legal responsibility of authorities in both the Gaza Strip and West Bank to end the crisis and spare Palestinian people from going through more suffering.”
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