Gaza is Unlivable

Fathi Walid Harb, a 22-year-old Palestinian man in Gaza, has died of the wounds he sustained as a result of his self-immolation in protest of the dire conditions in the Gaza Strip.

Harb poured gasoline all over his body before setting himself ablaze on Sunday May 20, and succumbed to his wounds, which covered 50% of his body as well as severe smoke inhalation.

His mother, Majda, said that her son was expecting his first child but was desperately trying to figure out to support his family under the harsh conditions in the embattled Gaza Strip.

“What can a man do when his wife is giving birth and he has no money for a doctor, diapers and milk?” — Majda Harb

Author and scholar Norman Finkelstein, an expert on the decades-long crisis in Israel-Palestine, as well as the United Nations, have called the Gaza Strip “unlivable.”

“Number two, since 2012, the United Nations—and these are very staid, conservative bureaucrats, who don’t use—they don’t use poetic language. They start, in 2012, by saying—issuing a report in the interrogative: Will Gaza be livable in 2020? In 2015, UNCTAD issued a report. It then used the declarative. It said, on its present trajectory, Gaza will be unlivable in 2020. Now, bear in mind, literally unlivable. These are U.N. reports by professional economists. By 2017, the U.N., Robert Piper, he said, “We were too optimistic. Gaza passed the unlivability threshold years ago. Gaza, as we speak, it’s unlivable.””

Harb’s suicide comes on the heels of the massive protests and brutal slaughter that occurred May 14 when the U.S. and Israel ceremonially reopened the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem following the U.S. president’s recognition of the city as the capital of Israel.

That declaration also sparked a protest, The March of Return, which has been ongoing since March 30.

Palestinians have been gathering along the Israel-Gaza “border” each Friday to protest the ongoing occupation of the region as well as the stifling blockade imposed by the Israeli government.

Approximately 100 Palestinian protesters have been killed and over 12,000 injured, many by “butterfly bullets” which explode inside the target’s body, leaving gaping flesh wounds, lacerating organs, and shattering bones.

The United Nations has recently called for an investigation into the violence, even as Israeli Military Chief Avigdor Lieberman announced Thursday that the Israeli government is moving to build 2,500 Jewish-only homes in the illegally occupied West Bank in blatant violation of both international law as well as numerous U.N. resolutions.

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