A young man in the Gaza Strip has died after setting himself on fire, apparently because he could not find work in the coastal territory between Israel and Egypt where youth unemployment hovers around 50 percent, the Associated Press reported today.
The man, who the BBC identified as 18-year-old Mohamed Abu Nada, doused himself with petrol on Saturday night before setting himself alight in a morgue.
He died from his injuries on Sunday.
"He left to seek work and he did not come back. My heart was shattered," his father told a local radio station, Reuters reported.
"We live in a miserable condition. We live in a rented house and I hardly can afford the rent.”
The BBC reported that there have been other incidents of people setting themselves on fire in Gaza, which has endured an Israeli economic blockade since Hamas took power in 2007, but Abu Nada is believed to be the first fatality.
A United Nations report published last week said 80 percent of Gaza’s 1.6 million Palestinians depended on outside aid, the New York Times reported.
Nearly 40 percent of the population lived in poverty and 30 percent were unemployed.
The strip of land will not be a “livable” place by 2020, the report predicted.
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