press release

ICSPR calls on the government agencies to form a specialized investigation committee on the explosion incident in Al-Zawiya market in Gaza City

The International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights “ICSPR” follows with great sadness and denunciation the incident that occurred in Al-Zawiya market in Gaza City, as a result of a powerful explosion on Thursday morning, July 22, 2021.

According to the statements of the Ministry of the Interior in Gaza, an explosion occurred in a house consisting of several floors in Al-Zawiya market, which led to the collapse of large parts of one of the houses, and other damages to the neighboring houses and shops. It also led to the death of a citizen and the injury of 10 others who were transferred as a result to Shifa Medical Complex.

ICSPR extends its sincere condolences and sympathy from the victim’s family, wishes a speedy recovery to the injured, and salutes the efforts made by the civil defense teams to control the explosion and the aftermath of the fire. ICSPR considers that this incident should constitute another beginning for a broad process that ensures accountability of all those who failed to perform the tasks entrusted to them, especially as this incident brings to mind the tragic fire incident in Nusairat camp that occurred on the fifth of March 2020. Therefore:

• ICSPR calls on the government agencies in Gaza to form a specialized investigation committee on the incident, and grants the committee a full mandate to investigate in order to determine the real reasons behind the explosion.

• ICSPR calls on the Public Prosecution to open a criminal investigation into this incident and its circumstances, and announce its results publicly.

• ICSPR urges citizens in the Gaza Strip, especially professionals, and those who deal with rapidly flammable materials, due to the need for honest and sincere compliance with all safety and security requirements.

• ICSPR calls on all government agencies, especially the Civil Defense, to activate oversight over public safety and to take the necessary measures to raise awareness of the dangers of dealing with highly flammable materials, including carrying out a comprehensive awareness campaign through local visual, audio and print media.

• ICSPR calls on the international community to strive hard to put pressure on the Israeli occupation to allow the entrance of necessary equipment for the work of civil defense in the Gaza Strip.