A disabled IDF veteran attempted to end his life outside the Defense Ministry's Rehabilitation Division at Tel Hashomer in Tel Aviv on Sunday afternoon, according to Army Radio. He was transferred for medical treatment in light condition.
The Defense Ministry told Army Radio that the veteran has been recognized as physically disabled since 1994 and had filed a request two weeks ago to be recognized as disabled due to PTSD as well. According to the ministry, the veteran had been contacted and even offered psychiatric treatment while recognition procedures were conducted.
The incident comes less than a week after a bill to abolish the income test for disabled IDF veterans passed its first reading, as part of the “One Soul” reform program initiated after veteran Itzik Saidian set himself on fire in front of the Petah Tikva offices of the Defense Ministry’s rehabilitation division in April.
The bill aims to reduce the dependency between a disabled person's income and the benefits he receives and is entitled to receive. The new bill stipulates that non-work income, including benefits from the National Insurance, pensions and other sources of income, will not be taken into account when examining their eligibility for benefits.
In April, Saidian, a 26-year-old veteran of the Golani Brigade, set himself on fire in front of an office of the Defense Ministry's rehabilitation division, after he experienced difficulty getting aid from the ministry.
Saidian served in the battle of Shaja’iya during Operation Protective Edge, in which 13 soldiers, including Oron Shaul - whose body is still being held by Hamas in Gaza, were killed.
Israel’s cabinet in May approved a set of reforms intended to overhaul government services for disabled veterans including the allocation of NIS 300 million ($92m.) for the immediate treatment and rehabilitation of veterans, with an emphasis on victims of PTSD.