An Israeli military checkpoint

Toddler succumbs to burns after Israeli military blocked access of firefighters

Hebron (QNN) – A Palestinian toddler succumbed to his severe burns today, only 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, south of the West Bank.

Palestinian police confirmed that three-year-old toddler succumbed to his severe burns he sustained two days ago in a blaze at al-Rajabi house in al-Salaymeh neighborhood of Hebron city, after Israeli forces prevented a Palestinian fire brigade from reaching the scene to contain the fire.

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 showed 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.

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.

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