Disabled IDF veteran who self-immolated dies (JERUSALEM POST) By JPOST COM STAFF 08/01/12)
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Akiva Mapiai, the disabled IDF veteran who set himself on fire in
Yehud in July, died of his wounds at Sheba Medical Center at Tel
Hashomer Tuesday night.
Mapiai became disabled in a training accident at age 23, at the IDF
Ground Forces Command’s Tze’elim training base in the western Negev.
In recent weeks, he told his siblings he had despaired of fighting
for rehabilitation rights and other benefits as a disabled veteran
from the Defense Ministry and social welfare services.
After falling into heavy debt, Mapiai decided to emulate Moshe
Silman, the Haifa man who set himself on fire at the end of a social
justice protest in Tel Aviv on July 14, and died on Friday.
Shlomo Mapiai, Akiva’s brother, said he had been talking in recent
days about “doing what Silman did.”
Mapiai threatened suicide in the past because of the “impossible
bureaucracy” involved in dealing with the Defense Ministry and social
welfare authorities, the brother said.
He took part in IDF veteran rallies and hired a lawyer to help him
get his benefits, a move that ended up getting him into heavy debt.
Earlier on Tuesday, another man tried to set himself on fire in
Jerusalem outside the National Insurance Building to protest his dire
The man had doused himself with flammable liquid on Ben Sira around
12:30pm. A nearby policeman realized what was happening and tackled
the man to keep him from lighting any kind of flame.
The man was the sixth self-immolation attempt since Moshe Silman set
himself on fire on July 14 and died of his injuries a week later. A
disabled IDF veteran in Yehud set himself on fire on July 22 and is
in serious condition with burns over 80% of his body.
The other self-immolation attempts were halted before they ignited
Yaakov Lappin and Melanie Lidman contributed to this report.(© 1995-
2011, The Jerusalem Post 08/01/12)
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