Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Man tries to set self on fire in Ramallah

 Maan News Agency

Published today 16:28
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian man in his 30s tried to set himself on fire in front of a crowd of protesters in the central West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday, onlookers said.

The man was stopped at the last moment by bystanders before he set himself and his 6-year-old daughter on fire at Manara Square in the center of Ramallah, witnesses said.

Protestors saw the man preparing to set fire to himself and his daughter and immediately stopped him. Police officers arrived, detained the man and took him away.

The incident in Ramallah occurred just one day after a man in Hebron tried to set himself on fire and two days after a man died after successfully setting himself on fire in the Gaza Strip.

Khaled Abu Rabee, 42, doused himself in gasoline on Tuesday after entering the municipality building in Dura, Hebron, but a security guard prevented him from setting the petrol alight.

On Thursday, Ehab Abu Nada, 18, poured petrol on himself before setting himself alight near the Shifa hospital in Gaza City. He died on Monday, according to medical officials.

All three incidents occured as Palestinians joined protests across the West Bank and Gaza to voice demands that something be done about the rising cost of living in the occupied territories.

After a day of protests on Tuesday, the Palestinian Authority said it asked a special economic committee to study a government memo about high living costs.

The committee will respond to the memo, prepared by the Ministry of National Economy, within two days. The report focuses on possible ways to cope with the situation amid growing protests.

The assignment was made during the PA cabinet’s weekly meeting in Ramallah where Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and his ministers discussed the financial situation as they prepared a budget for 2013.