Givati Brigade soldiers, who lost three of their friends to suicide after Operation Protective Edge, demand that the IDF examine these cases.
“They were young guys who were exposed to some difficult-to-watch sights,” they said. “We took it really hard.” IDF spokesperson: “The incidents are being probed by the IDF Investigation Division.”
Givati Brigade soldiers and officers are trying to understand how three soldiers who fought in Gaza have ended their lives since the operation ended, and whether it has anything to do with Protective Edge. The Military Investigation Division is probing the incidents. In all three cases the soldiers were found lifeless with their weapons at their side. The military is examining the connection to the battle sights that they had witnessed, and for the time being they are not able make the connection to the three suicides.
A soldier who served with one of the soldiers who ended his life recounted his emotions of the days before his death: “He was a completely normal person who had been exposed to some tough sights; I never thought he might do something like this. He saw a lot of bodies, a lot of horrors.”
The family members of one of the soldiers claim that “the military could’ve prevented it.” An additional friend of a soldier who ended his life, who visited the mourning family, said that “he was greatly pressured during the operation. The family blames the IDF, saying that it takes part in their son’s death.”
In spite of the number of cases, IDF stress that the suicide prevention issue among soldiers is its top priority. IDF representatives in all units operate in order to reduce and prevent these tragic incidents as much as possible. IDF notes that, in fact, a significant decrease has been noted concerning the suicide cases during military service in the past few years.
By Yael Klein/www.jerusalemonline.com