A disabled IDF veteran set himself on fire
Sunday at a bus stop in Yahud, in central Israel.
The man, 45, was rushed to the Chaim Sheba Medical Center
at Tel Hashomer in serious condition. Medical sources said he was suffering from burns
over more than 80% of his body.
According to available details, people who were standing near the man were able to extinguish the flames.
The victim (Photo: Amnon Sadeh, News 24)
An Magen David Adom spokesman said that, "We received a call about a man who set himself on fire at around 11:55 am. Paramedics scrambled to the scene found a man, lying on the ground, with apparent burns over 80% of his body. He was treated on site and then rushed to hospital."
Medical sources said that the man was in a drug-induced coma and on respiratory support.
Dr. Yossi Hayek, of the Shiba Burn Unit, which is considered the most advance burn treatments center in Israel, added that the man's medical history made his condition even more precarious.
Asked how his team was handling the difficult cases of the recent weeks, he said: "First, we hope that this 'trend' comes to a rapid end because no good can come of it.
"These cases are very difficult. Right now, they're in the news but for us – it's a sad daily reality."
David Gilboa of the Disabled IDF Veterans' Association told that that his organization is familiar with the man's plight: "The circumstances that brought him to execute this act of desperation are financial. He has serious financial hardships.
"The bodies that are supposed to support him, i.e. the Defense Ministry and National Insurance Institute failed. This is exactly what we have been protesting – the disregard and the abhorrent treatment of disabled IDF veterans, people who have given life and limb for this country.
"I'm afraid over 50,000 IDF veterans share his frustration. But I urge all of them – do not follow this desperate act. Nothing is worth your life."
On Friday, Moshe Silman,
the protestor who set himself on fire during a Tel Aviv social justice rally, died of his injuries. Silman, 57, suffered third-degree burns over 95% of his body. He was hospitalized at the
Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, which houses Israel's most advanced burn unit, where doctors fought for six days to save his life.
A statement by the Silman family issued after his death urged others against mimicking the act: "Human lives are sacred to the family and we urge those who face similar plights not to follow Moshe's path.
"What he did was grim and the family does not condone it – he was expressing his own unmet pain. We urge the government to consider this horrifying case and do everything within its power to help Israelis who are in need of (financial) assistance."
Shahar Chai and Carmit Reuven contributed to this report
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