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Gaza man succumbs to his wounds after setting self on fire

Feb. 19, 2016 9:46 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 29, 2016 5:02 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian died of wounds he sustained last week after setting himself on fire in the Gaza Strip, medical sources announced on Friday evening.

The man, identified only by his initials as I.A., suffered from severe burns after attempting suicide by pouring flammable material on himself and setting himself ablaze at the Bani Suheila roundabout in the southern Gaza town of Khan Yunis .

He was taken to the Nasir hospital for treatment, only to succumb to his wounds days later.

The reasons behind the man’s suicide were unknown, but the Gaza Strip has seen a surge in suicides due to the increasingly unbearable living conditions in the besieged enclave.

It is impossible to obtain official figures on the number of suicides in the Gaza Strip due to the taboo nature of the topic. However, a source within the security services told AFP in September that the number of cases were "frightening," saying there were suicide attempts on a "near-daily" basis.

The UN has warned that unless current trends are altered, Gaza could become uninhabitable for residents in just five years. The difficult living conditions are largely due to the nearly nine-year Israeli blockade, as well as the destruction caused by several violent Israeli offensives in the enclave in the past decade.

"The social, health and security-related ramifications of the high population density and overcrowding are among the factors that may render Gaza unlivable by 2020," the UN's development agency said last year.
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