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Gazan suffers burns after setting self on fire

March 2, 2016 12:04 P.M. (Updated: March 2, 2016 4:19 P.M.)
The United Nations has warned that Gaza could become uninhabitable for residents within five years. (AFP/Mohammed Abed, File)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A young Palestinian man set himself on fire in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday night, before he was saved by bystanders, witnesses told Ma'an.

The 22-year-old reportedly poured flammable liquid over himself before setting it alight. Bystanders then rushed to put out the flames.

He was evacuated to the Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis, where he was treated for minor burns.

Palestinian police in the beleaguered coastal enclave said they had opened an investigation into the incident.

It was reported last year that there were signs the Gaza Strip was seeing an increase in suicides and suicide attempts, as residents found themselves overcome by the unique pressures of life there.

While official figures are hard to come by, one source within the security services told AFP on condition of anonymity that the numbers were "frightening," with cases on a "near-daily" basis.

The Gaza Strip of 1.8 million people faces an Israeli blockade and a closed border with Egypt, and rebuilding following the 2014 war has been extremely slow.

More than 60 percent of young people do not have work, while 39 percent of the population lives below the poverty line and 80 percent depend on various forms of aid. The United Nations has warned that Gaza could become uninhabitable for residents within five years.
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