IDF disabled veterans group sets up protest tent at Knesset

The reform, called "One Soul" is designed to improve the treatment and rehabilitation of disabled IDF veterans.

The IDF disabled veterans organization set up a protest tent outside of the Knesset Monday which will be manned 24/7 after the government did not approve a plan for reform in the treatment of IDF veterans Monday. (photo credit: COURTESY OF IDF DISABLED VETERANS ASSOCIATION)
The IDF disabled veterans organization set up a protest tent outside of the Knesset Monday which will be manned 24/7 after the government did not approve a plan for reform in the treatment of IDF veterans Monday.
(photo credit: COURTESY OF IDF DISABLED VETERANS ASSOCIATION)
The IDF disabled veterans organization set up a protest tent outside of the Knesset Monday which will be manned 24/7 after the government did not approve a plan for reform in the treatment of IDF veterans Monday.
The Defense Ministry submitted the plan to the government after the IDF disabled veterans organization helped them draft it. The reform, called "One Soul" is designed to improve the treatment and rehabilitation of disabled IDF veterans.
The Prime Minister and the Finance Minister refused to bring the plan, which requires a NIS 350 m. budget, to government approval Monday, according to the Defense Ministry.
This is despite the fact that the head of the Prime Minister's office and the Cabinet Secretary promised it would pass and that they had the budgets, Head of the IDF disabled veterans organization Idan Kleinman told the Jerusalem Post's sister publication Maariv.
The Prime Minister's Office responded to the Defense Ministry saying that they would "not play games and attack through the press on such a delicate and important subject.
"The Prime Minister is promoting the reform plan in the Rehabilitation Division with all relevant parties in order to bring it to the Government's approval as soon as possible. Instead of the Ministry of Defense issuing baseless statements, we suggest it help find a budget solution and a real solution that will lead to important news and a welcome and necessary change in the Ministry of Defense's Rehabilitation Division."
Among other changes, the plan calls for an additional NIS 350 m. to be allocated to the Defense Ministry in order to treat and support disabled IDF veterans and their families with an emphasis on those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The plan also calls for an additional 60 staff members and 18 soldiers and NCOs to be added to the Defense Ministry's rehabilitation center mainly in the welfare and rehabilitation fields in order to improve services in this field.
The plan also includes the foundation of a national council for PTSD research and recommends best practices for treatment in cooperation with the Health Ministry.
Following the incident in April in which IDF veteran Itzik Saidian set himself on fire in front of the Defense Ministry's rehabilitation division, Defense Minister Benny Gantz reviewd Israel's rehabilitation services.
The tragedy resulted in public outcry and protests, with activists and families of soldiers demanding reform and better support in the state's rehabilitation facilities for disabled IDF veterans.
"There are many issues that need to be addressed. The tragic case of Itzik Saidian, whom we all pray for his recovery, demanded the need to act quickly to improve the response and treatment of IDF disabled veterans who sacrificed their bodies and souls for the country," Gantz announced.