IDF says number of soldier suicides doubled in 2014, denies link to Gaza war

The army said that 15 soldiers took their own lives, which is slightly more than double the number of suicides from 2013.

January 2, 2015 18:04
1 minute read.
The mother of an IDF soldier killed in Gaza mourns over his coffin

The mother of an IDF soldier killed in Gaza mourns over his coffin. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Fifteen soldiers killed themselves last year, the army said on Friday.

That was up from seven in 2013, an all-time low.

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Military sources insisted that last summer’s Gaza war did not contribute to the higher number of suicides.

“We have not noticed any link between cases of suicide and army operations,” a senior officer in the IDF Personnel Directorate said. The directorate added that the army is “doing all it can” to prevent suicide.

The directorate report indicated that 105 soldiers died during the course of their military service in 2014. Of those, 70 were killed during operational activities. Sixty-six soldiers were killed during Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Thirteen soldiers died in civilian traffic accidents and seven others died as a result of various medical ailments.

The army said that despite the number of suicides more than doubling, the overall trend spanning a number of years indicates a drop in cases.

“It wasn’t long ago when the average number of suicides would reach 30 per year,” an IDF source said.

The army said it has sought to reach out to commanders in the field in hopes of encouraging soldiers experiencing psychological distress to share their concerns so that military personnel could more readily spot potential suicides.

Fourteen soldiers killed themselves in 2012, 21 in 2011, and 28 in 2010.

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