A team to deal with “extreme instances” of social distress will be established after a social justice protester set himself on fire earlier this week, Israel’s Ministry of Welfare and Social Services and the National Insurance Institute announced Monday.
The planned team will be used “to resolve exceptional incidents that go beyond the tools we have at our disposal,” the ministry said. A team of directors-general will examine each case and will act by “shortcutting procedures to solve potential crises,” it said.
Moreover, the National Insurance Institute will establish a hotline, which along with the team, would act to “treat and assist complex cases.” The decision was made by Welfare Minister Moshe Kahlon and NII director-general Shlomo Mor-Yosef after a “thorough check of the tragic case of Moshe Silman, and in accordance with the instructions from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”
Silman, a 57-year-old Haifa resident, set himself alight on Saturday evening during a Tel Aviv demonstration marking the one-year 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.
The condition of Silman, who remains comatose and is connected to a respirator, has not shown any signs of improvement.
Meanwhile, a resident of Be’er Sheva attempted to immolate himself on Monday in front of the city’s municipality building. A guard saw the 47-year-old man douse himself with flammable material and immediately jumped on him, preventing him from setting himself on fire. The city's welfare services identified the man as someone who had demanded that the public housing company Amidar provide him with housing. The man was sent for a psychiatric evaluation to determine whether he poses a danger to himself or others.
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