» 08/01/2012 ISRAEL Tel Aviv, disabled veteran dies after self immolation protest against high cost of living Akiva Mafi, 45, had burns on 80% of his body. He died this morning at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv, after 10 days of agony. He is the second Israeli to set himself on fire in protest against the austerity movement launched by the Netanyahu government.
(AsiaNews / Agencies) - The disabled veteran who set himself on fire last July
22 in protest against the high cost of living and social injustice in Israel died
Mafi, 45, had burns on 80% of the body and was hospitalized at the Sheba
Medical Center in Tel Aviv.
man had lived in a wheelchair since the age of 23 because of an injury suffered
during military service and received a government subsidy for the disabled, but
a few months ago found himself in serious financial straits.
is the second Israeli to self-immolate after Moshe Silman, a businessman of 57,
who ended up on the streets because of a debt contracted with the government. Both
were protesting against the recent austerity measures launched by the
government of Benjamin Netanyahu, that have led to heavy cuts to social
security, wage reductions and tax increases. The
authorities have reduced spending for 2012 by over 140 million euros.
mid-July he had participated in demonstrations against cuts to the disabled
veterans' social security. After
his self-immolation, Udi Shani, Israeli Minister of Defense, has promised the
creation of a special unit dedicated to the needs of veterans with
deaths of the two men have aroused strong controversy and criticism among the
general population, who consider such acts a sign of the serious conditions
prevailing in the country. Students
and activists have organized a protest march for August 4 next against the high
cost of living and high unemployment. The
demonstration takes place exactly one year after the 2011 protests that drew
thousands of people onto the streets.