חלוקת המענק הקטארי
Palestinians receive financial aid payments from Qatar at a post office in Gaza City
Photo: AFP
Palestinians receive financial aid payments from Qatar at a post office in Gaza City

Palestinian rights group decries ‘surge’ in Gaza suicide attempts

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights says it has registered 17 suicides and hundreds of attempts this year, as pandemic batters already impoverished territory; Hamas, which rules the coastal enclave, contests the data

AFP |
Published: 07.07.20 , 13:23
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.
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  • Israel and Egypt imposed a land, sea and air blockade on the Gaza Strip after the Hamas terror group seized control of the enclave in 2007.
    חלוקת המענק הקטאריחלוקת המענק הקטארי
    Palestinians receive financial aid payments from Qatar at a post office in Gaza City
    (Photo: AFP)
    "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.
    He said 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.
    Palestinians spray disinfectant as a precaution against the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, in the streets of Al Nusairat refugee camp, central Gaza Strip Palestinians spray disinfectant as a precaution against the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, in the streets of Al Nusairat refugee camp, central Gaza Strip
    Palestinians spray disinfectant as a precaution against coronavirus in Al Nusairat refugee camp in Gaza
    (Photo: EPA)
    The World Bank estimates that poverty affected 53 percent of Gazans before the pandemic and that the number could now reach 64 percent.
    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.

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