Copycat incident as Israeli attempts to self-immolate

By Jamie Michaels, July 17, 2012

A third attempt in Israel at self-immolation occurred on Tuesday morning in a Leumi bank branch in Holon. A 72-year-old man, carrying flammable liquid, threatened to set himself on fire before being restrained by security guards at the bank. The man's acts were due to his inability to pay back debts and he has since been taken into custody at the local police station.

The incident is the third of its kind, which began on Saturday night in Tel Aviv, when social justice activist Moshe Silman was successful in his attempts to set light to himself in his protest against the growing inequalities within Israel. Silman is currently in hospital, having suffered third degree burns covering 94% of his body.

On Monday, a man tried to set himself on fire at the entrance of the Beersheba municipality building, but was prevented from doing so by security guards and passers-by.

The incidents follow last summer's activities in Tel Aviv, which saw social protests on a much larger scale. It is expected that similar scenes will soon arise, with mass demonstrations and rallies anticipated in attempts to pressure the government into advancing social reform.

Last updated: 3:06pm, July 17 2012