Wednesday, August 31, 2005

What Happened at Ulpan Today

Aug. 31, 2005 17:01 Updated Aug. 31, 2005 19:25
American immigrant sets himself on fire in Jerusalem

A 30-year-old American immigrant set himself on fire outside his Jerusalem ulpan Wednesday, critically injuring himself, in protest over Israel's pullout from Gaza, police and rescue officials said.
The single Jewish man, who moved to Israel lastyear and was studying Hebrew at the city's popular'Ulpan Etzion,' was gravely injured in the afternoon incident, suffering from first-degree burns on 70 percent of his body.
Witnesses told The Jerusalem Post that the victim, who was identified by his Hebrew name,Baruch Ben-Menachem, had put a blanket around himself and doused himself with gasoline.
A security guard who first noticed smoke coming out of the courtyard of the ulpan began putting out the flames on the man's burning body with a fire extinguisher, Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said.
Magen David Adom paramedics who were called to thescene rushed the semi-conscious man to Jerusalem'sHadassah University Hospital at Ein Kerem.
A hospital spokeswoman said that the man was incritical condition in the hospital's intensive care unit.
Paramedic Hanan Hovev said that the man, who mumbled a mixture of Hebrew and English in the ambulance, was given various sedatives on the way to hospital since he had difficulty breathing from his first degree burns and was unconscious on arrival at the hospital.
Hovev said that the victim mumbled "I did it because of Gush Katif."
Acquaintances of the victim said Tuesday that he was newly religious, and had rarely come to Hebrewclasses, even though he was enrolled as a student at the ulpan.
Students at Ulpan Etzion reported that Ben-Menachem was having financial difficulty.
A Jewish Agency spokesman, Semyon Dovzhik, said that Ben-Menachem was a loner who did not socialize with fellow classmates.
A bag with a prayer book and phylacteries were found near his body, eyewitnesses said.
Earlier this month, an Israeli woman died from wounds sustained when she set herself on fire in a similar protest act.


Post a Comment

<< Home