IDF vet who self-immolated speaks, first recording since incident

Saidian first woke up from a medically induced coma in September, and he thanked his doctors in honor of Doctors Appreciation Day.

 Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi visits Itzik Saidian and his family in hospital (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi visits Itzik Saidian and his family in hospital
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

Itzik Saidian, a disabled veteran who set himself on fire outside the Defense Ministry office last April, was recorded speaking for the first time on Tuesday. He thanked his doctors in honor of Doctors Appreciation Day.

“Hello dear doctors, I, Itzik Saidian, would like to wish you a happy and enjoyable day, and [I] thank Sheba Medical Center, the department for burns, and all the doctors, [including] Prof. Haik and Prof. Charatz, and all of the nurses. Have a good day,” he said. He spoke slowly and sounded short of breath, but was able to complete what he wanted to say.
In an interview with 103FM approximately two weeks ago, Saidian’s brother Av said his brother was healing miraculously. “Thank God, something unbelievable is happening,” he said. “Every day there are new miracles. My brother was not supposed to have lived for 24 hours, but, thank God, the doctors admit that it is a miracle that transcends nature. After eight months, he managed to walk out of his room and take some air.”
Saidian was in a medically induced coma for the first five months after the incident and woke in September after his medical team lowered his dose of medication. The 26-year-old veteran of the Golani Brigade arrived at the offices of the Defense Ministry’s Rehabilitation Division in Petah Tikva on April 13, when he set himself on fire.
The Defense Ministry said Saidian was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, after seeing combat action during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014. Saidian served in the battle of Shejaia during Operation Protective Edge, in which 13 soldiers, including Oron Shaul, whose body is still being held by Hamas in Gaza, were killed.
 Prime Minister Naftali Bennett visiting Sheba Medical Center as COVID-19 Omicron cases soar in Israel, taken January 4, 2022 (credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO) Prime Minister Naftali Bennett visiting Sheba Medical Center as COVID-19 Omicron cases soar in Israel, taken January 4, 2022 (credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)