In yet more instances in a chain of attempted self-immolations, two men attempted to set themselves on fire at branches of the National Insurance Institute on Tuesday in separate incidents. Policemen prevented them from doing so in both cases.
In Kfar Saba, a man, described to be in his fifties, threatened to set himself on fire after being refused additional benefits from the welfare services.
After uttering the threat, the man left the office and returned a short while later with a bottle of flammable liquid that he poured on himself while holding a cigarette lighter in his hand. A policeman overpowered the man and removed the lighter from his grasp before he could act on his threat.
The man was taken into police custody.
Also on Tuesday in Jerusalem, a man attempted to set him self on fire on the sidewalk outside the National Insurance Institute in downtown Jerusalem. A police officer happened to be on the scene and was able to prevent the deed.
Israel has seen a wave of attempted self-immolations since social activist Moshe Silman set himself on fire during a protest in Tel Aviv earlier this month, suffering burns over 94% of his body. He died a week later. Following Silman’s desperate act there have been several attempts at self-immolation that were prevented. To date, only one copycat has succeeded in setting himself alight: wheelchair-bound IDF veteran Akiva Mafai suffered burns to 80% of his body.