Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday that he would bring major reforms to the rehabilitation policy of IDF soldiers and veterans to a vote within two weeks.
“The plight of the disabled and wounded in the IDF is real. We haven’t updated our guidelines that require first aid treatment and major reform in many years, “he said at the end of a meeting with IDF Disabled Veterans Organization Chairman Idan Kliman.
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IDF Disabled Veterans Organization Chairman Idan Kliman (seated, holding microphone) speaks in protest of the government’s alleged neglect of soldiers and veterans in Tel Aviv
((Photo: Moti Kimchi)
The Prime Minister’s remarks came just hours later Hundreds of protesters blocked streets outside the IDF General Staff headquarters in Tel Aviv in protest of the government’s alleged neglect of soldiers and veterans who are mentally and physically disabled from their military service.The protesters carried signs with the IDF slogan “No Man Left Behind” and sang the name Itzik Saidyan – a 26-year-old veteran suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) lit up at an office in the Petah Tikva Rehabilitation Department last week after officials repeatedly denied requests to adjust the severity of his disability.
Saidyan is hospitalized at Sheba Medical Center in critical condition after being badly burned all over his body.
Kliman was cautiously optimistic about real change after meeting Netanyahu, but added that he and his fellow protesters will take to the streets again if the prime minister fails to keep his promise.
“If nothing changes, we will come back here with great force and not give up. The IDF Disabled Veterans Organization will look into this structure for the next two weeks and when it turns out that everything is talked about.” In the absence of any action, we will immediately return to the streets. Together we will win, “said Kliman.
“We are very concerned that another incident like Saidyan’s may recur and we will not agree to any interim solutions or mere statements. IDF disabled veterinarians paid the highest price to the state and have been neglected for many years. I hope so Change begins today. Veterinarians deserve appropriate, fair, and respectful treatment, and this is not a favor.