Palestinian man attempts self-immolation after denied money to visit sick daughter
A man upset over not being given money to visit his sick daughter in Jordan tried to immolate himself on Wednesday during one of several demonstrations against rising prices in the West Bank, Palestinian sources said.
Gaza Strip resident Hussein Qahwaji, aged 37, was stopped from setting himself on fire after he had doused himself with petrol, the sources said.
His five-year-old daughter is receiving medical treatment in neighbouring Jordan at the expense of King Abdullah II, and he had wanted the Palestinian Authority to pay for a trip to be with her. The PA had already given him money to stay in Ramallah.
On Sunday, 17-year-old Ehab Abu al-Nada died, desperate over his inability to find a job, died in the Gaza Strip four days after setting himself ablaze.
Demonstrations against rising prices were taking place on Wednesday for the second straight day in Ramallah and other localities in the West Bank.
Youths blocked the major roads leading into Ramallah and shouted slogans against the government of prime minister Salam Fayyad and the rise in prices.
In Gaza, meanwhile, the Hamas chief of the government, Ismail Haniyeh, met Abu Nada’s family and gave them $2,000 in emergency aid, his office said.
He also ordered that the youth’s brother, Mohammed, be given a government job and that the family receive social welfare benefits.
The Palestinian Authority, which holds sway only in the West Bank after Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007, suffers from chronic budgetary shortages. Ministers say it is currently going through its worst financial crisis since its formation in 1994.