Rami Yitzhak, the owner of a clothing store on Sokolov Street in Holon, was lightly-to-moderately injured after stabbing himself in the head on Wednesday following municipal inspectors fining him for placing stands with goods in a way that - according to the municipality - had endangered pedestrians.
The event was captured on video and spread on social media quickly, with many seeing the man as a symbol for the desperation of small business owners struggling to adapt to the financial burden brought on by the coronavirus crisis.
בעל חנות הבגדים "דולר" ברחוב סוקולוב בחולון דקר את עצמו לאחר שהפיקוח העירוני פינה את הסחורה של בעל החנות מאחר והיא חסמה את המדרכה. בתגובה, בעל החנות פצע את עצמו בראש עם סכין.מטופל ע"י מד"א. pic.twitter.com/gF6ky2bTNi— Itamar Cohen (@Itamar_cohen_1) February 24, 2021
In the video, the man can be heard demanding that officers return his merchandise, as someone off camera tells him that the police are just doing their jobs.
Immediately following that comment, the man began stabbing himself on the top of the his scalp with what looks to be a kitchen knife, before police were able to wrestle the knife away from him.
The store owner was evacuated to Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan while he was in light-to-moderate condition and fully conscious.
The Holon municipality explained to N12 the reasoning for the fine in a lengthy statement, stating that "In light of the difficult situation of business owners due to the coronavirus restrictions, the Holon Municipality has temporarily allowed store owners to place stands outside the store itself, provided that they are attached to the front of the business so that no obstacles are created that would endanger pedestrians."
The municipality added that this is not the first time they've warned the store owner, saying that earlier this week on Sunday, "the business owner was asked to attach the stand to his store and after he refused - he was given a fine. He has done so several times in recent months, each time refusing to obey the law and superficially injuring himself in front of a pre-prepared camera."
"With all the understanding of the situation that business owners are in at the moment, it is not possible to create obstacles on the sidewalks that are intended for the free passage of pedestrians, and endanger them," they added.
"It should be emphasized that in most cases the requirements of the municipal inspectorate from the business owners in this matter are cooperated and hardly reach the point of registering a report," the statement concluded.