Elderly Woman Lights Herself on Fire, Becoming Fourth Israeli Self-immolator in a Month

70-year-old hospitalized in serious condition with multiple second and third degree burns.

Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen
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Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen

An 70-year-old woman lit herself on fire Wednesday, becoming the fourth Israeli to self-immolate since last month.

She was hospitalized in serious condition with multiple second and third degree burns.

A 48-year-old patient in a closed ward of the Lev Psychiatric Hospital in Pardesiya set himself on fire two weeks ago, in front of the hospital’s nurse’s station. He was transferred to the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, having suffered burns over 60 percent of his body.

Two other Israelis died after self immolating last month as an act of protest against their economic situation, and difficulties in dealing with various government authorities. The elderly woman and the psychiatric patient’s reasons for setting himself on fire have yet to be determined.

Akiva Mafa'i, a 45-year-old disabled Israel Defense Forces veteran, set himself on fire near a bus station on Route 461, close to Yehud’s industrial area in July. He purchased a container of gasoline from a nearby gas station, poured it on himself, and set himself on fire. Passersby put out the flames with bottles of water and a fire extinguisher. Mafa’i was evacuated to the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer by Magen David Adom personnel.

Two days prior, 57-year-old Moshe Silman died after he set himself on fire during a social justice protest in Tel Aviv, and succumbed to his wounds roughly a week later at Sheba Medical Center. Silman was suffering from second and third-degree burns on 94 percent of his body.

Silman left behind a letter, in which he said, "The state of Israel stole from me and robbed me. It left me helpless."

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