A teenager has died after setting himself ablaze in Gaza to protest economic hardship due to unemployment in the Hamas terrorist-ruled region.
Mohamed Abu Nada, 18, poured gasoline on himself, lit a match and ignited the blaze after entering Gaza City's Shifa Medical Center in Gaza City, police told reporters on Monday.
The teen had reportedly walked out of his home last Thursday after an argument with his father, who told police he had “sent his son out to look for work” because the family was struggling, and he was also out of work.
Unemployment in the Hamas terrorist-ruled region is high, running at around 30 percent, according to the latest statistics from the United Nations. Nevertheless, at least 30 percent of families in the region receive aid from international humanitarian aid organizations and United Nations agencies.
At least ten Israelis have set themselves ablaze in the past few months, although most survived their injuries. Two Israelis died this summer after self-immolating to protest cuts in social services, and the rising cost of living -- one of the highest in the world.
At least two other Israelis also died through this method of protest in past years, including one elderly woman. Both self-immolated to express their grief over the 2005 Disengagement from Gaza, during which Israel's government withdrew IDF forces from the region and expelled nearly 10,000 Jews from their homes and businesses in the Gush Katif and northern Samaria (Shomron) regions, hoping to satisfy Palestinian Authority demands.
Neighbors in Gaza City on Monday speculated the teen had chosen to set himself afire at the hospital because perhaps he had not really intended to kill himself, but rather simply wanted to make a gesture – and believed medical staff would be able to stop him once he lit the match. However, medics were unable to intervene fast enough to save his life. The teen died of his wounds late Sunday.
Last year's region-wide Arab Spring uprisings began with the self-immolation of a Tunisian produce vendor who similarly set himself ablaze in despair over economic difficulties, igniting what the country dubbed the "Jasmine Revolution." Similar events have occurred throughout the region over the past 18 months, as the global economic crisis escalates and circumstances become more difficult for families to face.
As the Arab Spring uprisings gathered momentum, last year, Arab regimes began toppling, one after the other. Decades-old governments in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen all were pulled down by the tidal wave of protesters who roared into public squares to express their grievances.
The most recent such struggle is still taking place, in Syria, has transformed from peaceful unarmed demonstrations into a savage civil war that emerged from the revolution ignited by the Arab Spring uprisings in March 2011.