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    » 08/01/2012, 00.00

    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.

    Tel Aviv (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 today. Akiva Mafi, 45, had burns on 80% of the body and was hospitalized at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv.

    The 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.

    Mafi 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.

    In 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 disabilities.

    The 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.

     

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    See also

    04/08/2011 ISRAEL
    Protests over cost of living hit taxis, schools and housing
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    04/05/2015 ISRAEL
    Ethiopian Jews and police clash into overnight in Tel Aviv with 68 injured and 43 arrested
    Ethiopian Israelis protest in Tel Aviv against police racism and brutality, following an incident in which police beat a black soldier because of “the colour of his skin”. In the 1980s, thousands of Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to Israel. Since then, they have not been fully integrated and endure racism and discrimination. This morning, PM Netanyahu met with Ethiopian community leaders.

    27/08/2016 15:04:00 LAOS
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    23/07/2007 SRI LANKA
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    04/09/2012 PALESTINE
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    Eyahab Nada Abu worked 13 hours a day as a dishwasher for 7 US dollars. His father: He is "a martyr to unemployment." In Gaza, even after Israeli blockade, unemployment is 30%. The memory of Mohammed Bouazizi, the young Tunisian whose self- sacrifice triggered the revolts of the Arab Spring. Even Israelis are setting themselves on fire.



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