Israeli protester who set himself on fire dies

By Jennifer Lipman, July 20, 2012

Moshe Silman, the social justice protester who set himself on fire at a demonstration last Saturday, has died from his injuries.

The 57-year-old was being treated for severe burns over 94 per cent of his body, but doctors at Sheba Medical Centre, Tel Hashomer were unable to save him.

The son of Holocaust survivors, he self-immolated as a desperate attempt to draw attention to the plight of Israel’s impoverished.

Heavily in debt despite having once owned a trucking business, he resorted to setting himself on fire after his housing request was denied.

Moments before he set himself on fire the army veteran said he blamed the Prime Minister, the state, and Israel's Finance Minister, "for the humiliation that the weakened citizens of Israel endure on a daily basis" and for taking "from the poor to give to the rich".

Last summer Israel was the scene of mass social protests and this year looks likely to follow a similar pattern.

Last updated: 2:03pm, July 20 2012