As Digital Journal
reported last week, Silman suffered burns to 94% of his body after self-immolation to protest the lack of government support after suffering a stroke a year ago and being forced to give up his job as a Tel Aviv taxi driver. The Jerusalem Post
reports Silman was facing eviction from the apartment where he had been living for free for the past year, after being told he was not eligible for government housing despite being declared 100% disabled by the National Insurance Institute.
reports activists and close friends had been told this morning he was in his final hours. His friends say they were not surprised by his desperate action because the state wouldn't help him. Because he never married and had no children his request for social assistance was constantly denied.
A friend who went to social justice protests with Silman in Haifa, where he had been living for he past year says,“There was protest in his soul. He waited for it to break out and was glad when it did.” His sister Bat Zion Elul who held a vigil by his bedside since the incident, tells Haaretz
,“He was in despair. He was mired in debt. Until the last moment we helped him. But he didn’t want it. Since the day he lost everything, the day they took everything, the house, his trucks, the money, my parents’ house, he has been going downhill.”
Family and friends have gathered at Elul's home in Rishon Letzion to sit Shiva, the seven day mourning period in Judaism.