At least 21 people including 10 children have been killed by a fire in a building in a densely populated refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, a hospital director has told newsmen.

Dr Salah Abu Laila added that the number of deaths at Jabalia refugee camp following the fire is likely to rise.

A local security official told newsmen an initial investigation suggested there was a gas leak from a kitchen.

Jabalia is one of eight camps in Gaza.

Dr Abu Laila, director of emergency services at the Indonesian Hospital in north Gaza, described the fire as “huge”, with videos on social media showing the entire building engulfed in flames.

According to the security official, the family had been celebrating the return of one of their relatives from abroad.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas – based in the West Bank, a separate Palestinian territory – called it a national tragedy and announced a day of mourning today.

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz tweeted that his staff would assist with “humanitarian evacuations of the injured to (Israeli) hospitals”.

Credit: BBC

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