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Kohavi: self-immolated IDF veteran among soldiers whose injuries not seen

CM 13/04/2021

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IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi wished a speedy recovery on Tuesday to Itzik Saidian, a disabled IDF veteran who set himself on fire at a Defense Ministry office on Monday, stressing that Israel owes “a great debt to those who risk their lives for the protection of the state.”

“On behalf of myself and the entire IDF, I wish a speedy and complete recovery to Itzik Saidian, a former soldier in the Golani Brigade who is hospitalized in serious condition,” said Kohavi in a statement on Tuesday. “Among our fighters and our reservists are those whose injuries cannot be seen and they carry in their minds the scars of battle for many years.
“The IDF and the people of Israel owe a great debt to those who risk their lives for the protection of the state, and we must do everything we can to fight for them,” he said.
Saidan’s commanders from the Golani Brigade, Col. Erez Alkabetz, Lt.-Col. Ohad Moyal, and Maj. Nikolai Ashurov arrived at Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer on Monday night to support and accompany him and his family, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.
“If he has mental problems, why did you send him to Gaza?” asked Yaron Porter, a friend of Saidan’s, in an interview with KAN Reshet Bet radio on Tuesday. “Who decides what is caused by what? He lost his friends. You have to prove you’re not a liar; he was rejected every time, they brought him to the edge. The writing was written in blood on the wall,” he said.
“He carried the post-trauma from Shuja’iyya. He suffered severe shell-shock. He suffered from severe nightmares – you can see all kinds of levels of post-trauma – he was very introverted and quiet. He suffered greatly,” his friend lamented.”There are nightmares at night, sleep is not really sleep. You usually go back to battle, you’re kind of a walking dead after a night like this,” Porter said. “There are tantrums, nerves, lack of concentration, bursts of crying.

“I blame the Rehabilitation Division directly for what happened,” he said.

“What about those who commit suicide?” Porter asked. “There is a direct line between this and the conduct of the Rehabilitation Division. They should have given him the rights he deserved, not exhausted him and not cut back on what little they gave. He set himself on fire in despair; those who are in charge of rehabilitation make it difficult for him.”
Saidan, a 26-year-old disabled IDF veteran, arrived at the offices of the Defense Ministry’s Rehabilitation Division in Petah Tikva and set himself on fire on Monday afternoon, a spokesperson for the Defense Ministry reported.
The Defense Ministry said in a statement afterward that Saidan was diagnosed with PTSD, after seeing combat in Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014.
Saidan served in the battle of Shuja’iyya in Operation Protective Edge, in which 13 soldiers, including Oron Shaul, were killed.

Udi Shaham contributed to this report.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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