HEBRON, Friday, March 8, 2019 (WAFA) – A Palestinian toddler succumbed to his severe burns two days after Israeli forces blocked the entry of a fire brigade to rescue a Palestinian family trapped in their burning house in the Old City of Hebron.
Police spokesman Loai Irzeiqat confirmed that three-year-old toddler succumbed to his severe burns he sustained two days ago in a blaze at al-Rajabi’s house in al-Salaymeh neighborhood of Hebron city after Israeli forces prevented a Palestinian fire brigade from reaching the scene and containing the fire in time.
The fire has claimed the life of two other toddlers. Four-year-old Wael Rajabi was burned to death in the fire, and his 18-month-old sister, Malak, succumbed to her burns after receiving treatment at the nearby Hebron government hospital.
A video filmed at the scene shows that a fire engine trying to drive down a narrow street when it was stopped by a roadblock. The local residents pleaded to the Israeli soldiers to “open the gate quickly, for the children.”
However, the Israeli soldiers did not yield to the onlookers’ pleas, delaying the emergency services’ response and preventing them from reaching the property.
Israeli severely restricts Palestinians’ freedom of movement through a complex combination of approximately 100 fixed checkpoints, flying checkpoints, settler-only roads and various other physical obstructions.
The city of Hebron is home to roughly 160,000 Palestinians and about 800 Israeli settlers who live in compounds heavily guarded by Israeli troops.
Israel has recently expelled the only international monitors protecting Hebron’s Palestinians from 800 heavily guarded far-right settlers, one of whom committed the 1994 massacre that triggered their deployment.