Fire kills 3 Gaza kids, sparks accusations over power crisis

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Three Palestinian children have been killed in a Gaza house fire started by a candle, sparking internal finger-pointing over the coastal territory’s lingering power crisis.

Gaza’s Islamic Hamas rulers are accusing the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority of imposing taxes on fuel for Gaza’s lone power plant, worsening the crisis and raising the daily blackout to 18 hours. The authority rejects Hamas’ accusations and says the militant group has prevented it from working in Gaza.

The incident also sparked rare local criticism of Hamas policies, with some Gaza residents accusing it of diverting its scarce electricity to its attack tunnel network against Israel instead.

Hamas organized Saturday’s funerals for the children and its security services deployed police along the funeral procession’s route to quell any disorder and outward protests.

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