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Palestinian Man, Protesting Deplorable Conditions in Gaza, Dies after Self-Immolation

Common Dreams staff

Youths in Gaza City: the unemployment rate among 20- to 24-year-olds in Gaza is 58%. (Photograph: David Levene)

The father of 18-year-old Mohamed Abu Nada, who died on Sunday in the Gaza strip following sever injuries suffered after he set himself on fire late last week, said the young man did so to protest the deplorable conditions he and his family experienced living under economic and military blockade as Palestinians.

"I asked my son to go and look for a job, because I don't have a job and we don't have any source for living," Abu Mohamed Abu Nada told reports in Gaza.

Police in Gaza, reports the BBC, said that the young man went to the room of the morgue at Shiffa Hospital in Gaza City, poured gasoline on his body and set himself on fire.

According to the Guardian, the family live in al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, explaining that those in the camp "are generally among the poorest in Gaza."

"This case illustrates so tragically the wider sense of desperation which the blockade has engendered," said Chris Gunness, spokesman for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA. "The humanitarian situation in Gaza is becoming increasingly dire, with the prospects of a prosperous and dignified life dwindling with every day."

Hamdi Shaqqura of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights. quoted by the Guardian, said: "It is not the first time. In the past there have been several suicides for the reason of economic hardship," he said. "The ongoing chronic closure imposed on the Gaza Strip has had a devastating impact on all aspects of life."

A recent report by the United Nations said conditions in Gaza are only worsening and warned that the territoty may not be 'liveable' by 2020, and that its aquifer--polluted and depleted--may be unusable by as early as 2016.

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