IDF to change criteria for army burial

OC Manpower doesn't see soldiers who commit suicide as IDF casualties.

April 4, 2006 08:17
1 minute read.
elazar stern noble against tree 298.88

elazar stern noble 298.8. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimkski)


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OC Manpower Maj.-Gen. Elazar Stern was considering on Tuesday making a distinction in army policy between IDF soldiers killed in the line of duty, and those who die under non-combat circumstances. The current regulations refer to every person who dies while under the army's care as an IDF casualty. The army claimed that rule was outdated, having been written at a time when soldiers died primarily in combat.

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Stern claimed that soldiers on active duty who commit suicide, or those killed while on leave, should not be considered IDF casualties, and ought not be buried in cemetery plots reserved for soldiers. He specifically cited a presumably hypothetical example of a soldier who commits suicide on the first day of his reserve duty, claiming in the suicide note that his motive was financial hardship. Stern did not believe that such a case was under the army's responsibility. He noted that changing the regulations would save the IDF a considerable amount of money. Representatives of Yad Lebanim - the organization of bereaved families - insisted that the move would hurt many of the dead soldiers' relatives, and was entirely unacceptable, Israel Radio reported.

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