Gaza landfill fire could rage for days

STORY: A large cloud of heavy smoke billowed into the sky as night fell on Thursday and continued to Friday (March 3), and there was a strong smell of burning rubbish across Gaza City.

The fire started "in the eastern part of a landfill in Juhr al-Deek, southeast of Gaza City, near the separation fence, for reasons that have yet to be confirmed," the Gaza municipality said in a statement.

"We fear the fire might spread across the landfill and result in an environmental catastrophe."

Local fire crews did not have the capacity to cope with the blaze, it added. The authority called on international organisations to help put out the blaze, and for international pressure on Israel to lift a blockade to let equipment in.