Palestinian rights group decries ‘surge’ in Gaza suicide attempts due to ‘poverty’
At least 17 people have taken their own lives in the impoverished Gaza Strip this year and hundreds more have made suicide attempts, a Palestinian rights group said Monday.
Israel has imposed a stifling land, sea and air blockade on the Gaza Strip for over a decade, after having withdrawn from the densely populated enclave in 2005.
“We have registered 17 suicides and hundreds of attempted suicides, namely among young people,” since the start of the year, said Samir Zaqout, deputy director of the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights.
For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
He told AFP that “extreme poverty,” difficult living conditions and a lack of freedom of expression were all factors behind these suicides.
According to the United Nations, unemployment before the spread of the coronavirus stood at around 43 percent of Gaza’s estimated two million inhabitants, while 80 percent depended on aid to survive.
Israel strikes Hamas targets in Gaza after rocket fire: Palestinian security source
Coronavirus: Palestinian PM seeks closure of West Bank crossings to curb virus
The World Bank estimates that poverty affected 53 percent of Gazans before the pandemic and that the number could now reach 64 percent.
The impoverished territory has since 2007 been governed by the militant group Hamas.
Hamas police spokesman Ayman al-Batniji contested the suicide data reported by Al Mezan.
“This year there have been 12 suicides in Gaza and that is less than the 32 cases which were reported in 2019,” he told reporters.
Hamas says West Bank annexation would be ‘declaration of war’: AFPGaza rulers Hamas warned Thursday that Israel's planned annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank would amount to a "declaration of war" against ... Middle East
Hamas attacks 85-year-old woman, journalists who covered the incident: ReportsThe Palestinian militant group Hamas reportedly attacked an 85 year old woman and have arrested the journalists who reported the incident, according ... Middle East
Coronavirus: Mosques reopen in Gaza after 70-day closure amid virus lockdownMosques in the Gaza Strip reopened on Wednesday after a 70-day closure due to the coronavirus, with one worshipper saying he was “overjoyed” despite ... Coronavirus