Gazan Lion Cubs Die Following Egypt Siege

Two lion cubs named after a missile and fighting die in Gaza, park officials cite supply shortage. Comes during Egypt siege on smuggling.

Ari Yashar ,

Illustration: Lion and cub
Illustration: Lion and cub
Flash 90

Two lion cubs born in Gaza this week and named after Hamas's fighting with Israel during Operation Pillar of Defense died on Thursday. Shadi Hamad of Hamas-run Bissan Park told AFP the cubs died from "a lack of experience and resources for the birth and treatment of cubs."

The lions were named "Fajr (dawn)" after the Fajr missiles Hamas fired at Israel, and "Sijil (clay)" after the Hamas name for Pillar of Defense, "Operation Stones of Clay."

While Bissan Park officials blamed Israel's blockade of Gaza for a "shortage of food and medicines" leading to the cubs' deaths, Egypt has been conducting a serious siege on Gaza which has cut off smuggling routes from the Sinai.

As a result raw sewage has flooded part of Gaza City due to the lack of smuggled cheap diesel fuel.

Regarding the lion cubs, Hamad said "we had tried to contact the relevant authorities in Egypt, but these are blockade conditions."

The cubs' parents were smuggled into Gaza from Egypt 4 years ago by the Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's armed wing.