Three Palestinian children were found dead Sunday in a fire in their room caused by a candle being used due to lack of electricity in the town of Deir Balah, in the center of the coastal strip, an emergency services official said on Sunday.
"A fire broke out in the children's room," said Adham Abu Selmiya, emergency services spokesman for Gaza.
The children were of two, five and six years of age.
He also said that another child, aged six months, was badly burnt and was rushed to hospital.
The latest crisis began after Egypt cracked down on tunnels smuggling fuel into Gaza. Egypt, which is also experiencing fuel shortages, urged Hamas to import fuel across its border with Israel. Gaza has faced up to 18-hour power cuts each day.
Meanwhile, Egyptian police and military forces on Thursday thwarted the smuggling of fuel into the Gaza Strip from a site in the northern Sinai.Police seized 53,000 liters of fuel en route for sale on the black market in Gaza, security sources said. A truck was stopped after a chase and the fuel on board was seized.
But Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan blames the crisis on the Israeli government. "The problem is not us. We are trying our best to ease the pressure on the Palestinian people. The problem is because of the siege, the oppressive, immoral and inhuman siege," he said, AFP news reported.
Also on Sunday, officials in Gaza and Palestinian Authority say they have reached a deal with Egypt to bring fuel via the Rafah crossing to resolve the crisis.
The Red Cross on Thursday said it would ship 150,000 liters of fuel in the next few days to help alleviate the worsening energy crisis in Gaza, which is hitting medical services hard.
Gaza has been blockaded since 2007, Life is increasingly difficult for the 1.7 million people, and has triggered unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.