In an unprecedented decision, the Defense Ministry decided over the weekend to recognize Gilad Schalit as a disabled IDF veteran even before he returns to Israel. Schalit is expected to return in a prisoner swap with Hamas on Tuesday.
Until now, soldiers released from captivity needed to first submit a request to be recognized as a disabled veteran before receiving the recognition from the Defense Ministry with draws significant tax breaks and other benefits.
The decision was made per the request of Kadima MK Yisrael Hason and will pertain to all soldiers released from captivity in the future. According to the decision, soldiers released from captivity will automatically be recognized as disabled veterans due to the assumption that they will, at the very least, suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“This decision will enable us as a country to provide the minimum for soldiers who return from captivity to return as much as possible to a normal life,” Hason said. “It is our moral obligation to help soldiers who return from captivity since it is not right that they will need to fight again, this time for their basic rights.”