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West Bank Developer Commits Suicide

Avraham Gindi, a housing contractor and real estate developer under formal charges of fraudulent land sales deals in the West Bank, committed suicide at his Rishon LeZion home early Thursday morning by self-immolation.

His charred body, which he had doused with Kerosine, was found in a drained swimming pool next to his penthouse apartment. His wife, who smelled smoke, alerted neighbors who called the fire brigade.

Gindi attempted suicide twice before. He is said to have suffered severe depression after being charged with fraud, theft, forgery and disrupting an investigation last year into a West Bank land scandal. His housing construction firm reportedly owes more than $10 million to clients, suppliers and banks.

WARRANTS OUT FOR BROTHERS

His brothers, Moshe and Yigal Gindi, who operated their own construction company, fled to Brazil when the investigation of suspect West Bank land sales began. They reportedly are seeking amnesty from the police who have warrants out for their arrest, to return to Israel for Avraham Gindi’s funeral.

Gindi was arrested last year and released on bail. A condition of his release was that he report weekly to the local police precinct pending completion of the investigation. He was under close watch by family and friends after his suicide attempts.

About 400 people who made down payments to Gindi’s firm for apartments he contracted to build, appear to have lost their investments and their new homes. The firm allegedly undertook to build on land it did not own and on which the authorities never issued building permits.

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