Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded on Sunday to the self-immolation of Israeli social protester Moshe Silman on Saturday, saying that it was “a great and personal tragedy.”
Silman, a 57-year-old Haifa resident, set himself on fire on Saturday during a Tel Aviv demonstration marking the anniversary of last summer’s social protests. He is currently in critical condition in the intensive care unit at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, where he was transferred after midnight on Saturday, after first being taken to Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. Silman, who has grade two and three burns on 94 percent of his body, will only be transferred to the hospital burns unit later on Sunday, as there were no beds available there when he first arrived at Sheba Medical Center. He is expected to remain in hospital for a long period of time.
During a meeting of Likud ministers, Netanyahu said, “I wish Moshe a complete recovery. I asked the Welfare and Social Services Minister and the Housing Minister to look into the issue.”
Silman considers October 8, 2002, as the day that his downfall began. On that day, National Insurance Institute bailiffs seized one of the four trucks that were used for his company, Mika Transports. The reason: a debt of NIS 15,000. Silman paid a third of the debt in order to reclaim his truck, but then he was asked to pay a further NIS 1,200 to cover towing expenses.
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