Gaza zoo's lion cubs die
Amusement centre's manager confirms Sjel and Fajr has been unwell since birth
The two lion cubs unveiled at a Gaza zoo earlier this week have died.
Brother and sister Sjel and Fajr lived at the Hamas-run Bissam amusement complex in northern Gaza. They were born to African lions smuggled from Egypt in underground tunnels.
But on Thursday Mohammad Abdel-Rahman, the centre's acting manager, said the cubs died of an unspecified illness. He added that zoo workers were unable to save them because they lacked experience in caring for newborn cubs.
And The Guardian quoted an interior ministry official saying the animals had been in poor health since birth, adding that specialist supplies were requested from neighbouring Egypt, but couldn't be brought because the crossing remains closed.
Fajr and Sjel were less than a week old Nahed al-Majdub, manager of Bissan, had said the pair were the first lions born in the Gaza Strip.
Their names sent a defiant message on the one-year anniversary of the eight-day conflict with Israel in which more than 100 people - mostly Palestinian - were killed.
Sjel - arabic for "clay" - is the name Hamas gave to the conflict, and Fajr - translated as "dawn" - is the name of the Iranian-made missiles they fired at Israel.
The fighting of November 2012 led to tens of thousands of Israeli troops being stationed along the Gaza border and the imposition of restrictions on the movement of goods and people in and out. It ended with a ceasefire after negotiations involving Egypt and the United States.
The African lions who gave birth to Fajr and Sjel
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
£20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...
£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a major supplier of buil...
£28000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...