Protecting Truth During Tension

As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict develops and the rise of hate crimes persists, TML is on the ground in the Middle East and beyond writing stories that readers like you and other media outlets rely on. To ensure that you have immediate access to unbiased, fact-based reporting, it is crucial that TML has the resources to disseminate these stories in real-time. Please help us protect the truth during these critical times by making a donation today.
The Media Line is proud to assume this responsibility and has over 20 years of success in shaping the role of news reporting in the region. We hope you will support our efforts by making a donation today.

In our modern, digital world, we are not as far away from each other as we once were, which is why news agencies have a responsibility to put forth reliable, trustworthy journalism more than ever before.
TML is proud to assume this responsibility.
We hope you will support our efforts.

Thank you!

Thank you for confidence in The Media Line.
Felice Friedson
Founder, President
‘Gaza Spring’? Palestinian Man Sets Self On Fire

‘Gaza Spring’? Palestinian Man Sets Self On Fire

Desperate circumstances blamed for desperate measure, as youth takes own life

A young man in the Gaza Strip committed an act of self-immolation, pouring gasoline over his body and setting himself on fire, in protest of what many Palestinians view as a hopeless situation.

According to medical sources, Fathi Walid Harb, 22, arrived on Sunday at the Al-Shifa Hospital with serious burns to more than 50 percent of his body. Three days later he succumbed to his wounds, family members confirmed.

Harb was a Gaza-based employee of the Palestinian Authority whose salary had been withheld for several months. Local reports said he cursed the Palestinian government as onlookers rushed to put out the flames engulfing him.

“[Fathi] is married and his wife just delivered a baby,” Rami Harb, the deceased’s uncle, told The Media Line. He explained that his nephew decided to kill himself after determining that he would not be able to support his burgeoning family without an income.

The elder Harb clarified that Fathi did not commit suicide because “he had a fight with his wife,” as a Hamas spokesman alleged. “Hamas doesn’t care and is stating lies,” he asserted. “They [Hamas officials] first claimed that Fathi was doing well and had enough money to cover his treatment.”

When contacted by The Media Line, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza refused to comment on the issue.

Rami Harb confirmed that the Palestinian Ministry of Social Affairs reached out to the family on the first day of his nephew’s hospitalization and offered to pay for his treatment. “But [the PA] woke up way too late,” he stressed. “They heard about Fathi well after he burnt himself.”

Abdullah Abdullah, chair of the Political Committee of the Palestinian Legislative Council, suggested to The Media Line that “the PA will never abandon the people of Gaza, not morally, humanely or politically. If Hamas fails to serve them, the PA will take the lead and provide whatever is needed.” He added that the PA is doing everything possible to end divisions among the Palestinians by pursuing reconciliation with rival Hamas.

“A PA delegation went to the Strip to take over the ministries there, but Hamas refused to hand over any department,” Abdullah affirmed. “The Gazans are part of the Palestinian people and we can never give up on our responsibility for them.”

Mazen Safi, a Palestinian political analyst in Gaza, believes that the dire economic situation in the enclave motivated Fathi to take such an extreme measure. “Our young people find themselves without opportunities and hope for a better future,” he told The Media Line, blaming the circumstances on “the Israeli blockade, which is in violation of international resolutions.”

Safi also called out the “international community, which is leaving the Palestinians to suffer in catastrophic conditions and Arab nations that refuse to take a strong stance on the Palestinian issue. [PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction] and Hamas must also take joint responsibility for their people,” he concluded, by doing what is necessary to end the blockade and by implementing development projects for youth.

“Otherwise, we will hear about more suicide cases.”

A report last year by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe noted that as a result of the blockade on Gaza, enforced by both Israel and Egypt, “some 75,000 people are still displaced [in the territory] and 43% of Gaza’s population is unemployed, a figure which rises to 60% among young people. In all, 80% of the population relies on humanitarian assistance.”

According to a recent report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Gaza risks becoming uninhabitable by 2020.

Give the Gift of Trusted News!

Dear friends,

The Media Line is always there to report to you the stories and issues of the Middle East – completely and in context: TML is the source you can trust.

Know The Media Line to Know The Middle East!

Please support our ad-free, nonprofit news agency. Our seasoned journalists reporting from the Middle East are working day and night during these challenging, yet defining times; and our student interns are honing their knowledge and skills, preparing to emerge as tomorrow’s journalists.

You rely on us and we’re relying on you! Make your online tax-deductible donation here and contact us regarding donations through appreciated stock, donor advised funds, qualifying IRA distributions and other charitable instruments.

Thank you for confidence in The Media Line.
Felice Friedson
Founder, President

Invest in the
Trusted Mideast
News source.
We are on the
front lines.

Personalize Your News
Upgrade your experience by choosing the categories that matter most to you.
Click on the icon to add the category to your Personalize news
Browse Categories and Topics
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.