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Homeless man sets himself on fire outside Ashdod municipality

Israeli about 50 years of age taken to Assuta Medical Center in serious condition with burns all over his body

First responders work at the site where a man set himself alight outside the Ashdod Municipality on May 1, 2022. (Magen David Adom)
First responders work at the site where a man set himself alight outside the Ashdod Municipality on May 1, 2022. (Magen David Adom)

A man was rushed to the hospital after setting himself on fire outside the Ashdod Municipality building on Sunday morning.

According to Magen David Adom, the man, said to be around 50, was brought to Assuta Medical Center in the city with serious burns all over his body. He was comatose and on a ventilator in the hospital, MDA said.

United Hatzalah said they offered initial treatment to the man on Gdud Haivri Street in Ashdod, and that he is currently hospitalized in serious condition.

In a statement, the Ashdod municipality wished the individual a full recovery and said it was in touch with his family members and would offer them full assistance.

The municipality said the man had been under the care of the city’s welfare services until six years ago, when he refused to continue treatment. The man had an appointment at the municipality complex on Sunday morning in regards to housing, and was walking between buildings after being referred to another city official when he set himself on fire, the municipality said.

Just over a year ago, IDF veteran Itzik Saidyan self-immolated outside the Petah Tikva offices of the Rehabilitation Department for disabled soldiers in what became a lightning-rod case in Israel.

Saidyan, who is still hospitalized, said he struggled for years to receive the care he requested for post-traumatic stress disorder, which he said stemmed from his service in the Israeli military.

Last week, an improvement was reported in Saidyan’s condition, and he was moved from the burn unit to the rehabilitation unit at Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv.

The case prompted a national reckoning over care for military veterans.

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