A child's death is always terrible with all that curiosity, openness, zest for life and excitement about an unfolding future, suddenly and cruelly extinguished. The death of five children along with their mother in the fire in Neasden is almost too much to bear and somehow even worse at a time when as Palestinians they may have dared to hope for a better future.
Such a large family will have lots of friends and relatives in the area and their loss will be a terrible blow to a close-knit community. The children's schools will be holding special assemblies tomorrow as the first step in the long healing process. Staff, pupils and parents will be united in struggling to make sense of what has happened and will be seeking reassurance, support and comfort from each other. At times like this schools shoulder a huge responsibility and their central role in the community is revealed for all to see.
Muna Elmufatish and her children Hanin, 14, Basma, 13, Amal, nine, Mustafa, five, and Yehya, aged two all died in the fire. Their father Bassam Kua and sister Nur, 16, are in hospital in critical condition. My thoughts are with them them and everyone who has been affected by the tragedy.