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Family of Israeli soldier: Army responsible for his suicide

The elite Givati Brigade within the Israeli army has been trying to understand the reasons why three of the soldiers who took part in the recent aggression on Gaza committed suicide. It said it has been trying to investigate the impact the operations and the battles in Gaza against the Palestinian resistance left on the Israeli soldiers and on the rest of the army personnel.

Mako website, part of Israel’s Channel 2, has quoted the family of one of the soldiers who committed suicide as saying that their son “was suffering as a result of the scenes of killing and destruction inside the Gaza Strip” and that “he could not part with the images of the corpses of children he used to see in the streets”. It added that he suffered “tough feelings”, especially during the days that preceded taking his own life.

The family held the Israeli army responsible for the incidents of suicide among its soldiers saying: “The army could have prevented these incidents. The army is responsible.”

A soldier from the Givati Brigade said: “I saw lots of bodies on the front and lots of atrocities. These young men who come to these places go through an extremely bad experience.” He called on the army to take “the necessary measures” to prevent the recurrence of such incidents in the future.

The Israeli army is trying to bring an end to suicides by means of a psychiatric health programme. The army has been transmitting telephone messages to regular and reserve soldiers who took part in the war on Gaza calling on them to receive psychiatric treatment.

The website said that the Israeli army has made preventing suicides amongst soldiers a top priority.

On the other hand, the Palestinian media have said that the causes prompting the three soldiers to commit suicide are not restricted to seeing the scenes of killing and destruction resulting from the Israeli aggression itself, for these soldiers are used to killing unarmed civilians and seeing the body parts of innocent child victims.

Rather, they explain, the matter is to do with going into the Gaza Strip and engaging in the ground battle, in particular. This is at least what some Palestinian websites, such as the Palestine Information Centre (PIC) and Safa agency have been saying.

Some Palestinians have said that the horror experienced by the elite soldiers within the Israeli army after invading Gaza and the impact of the tunnels used by the resistance fighters on them is what drove them to commit suicide.

On Tuesday, Yedioth Ahronoth disclosed that three Israeli soldiers who took part in “Operation Protective Edge” against the Gaza Strip committed suicide. The paper explained that the occupation army’s leadership is checking the possibility that these soldiers killed themselves due to their experience during the events and because they had had tough experiences. It further explained that the soldiers were found with their weapons next to their bodies.

The Hebrew website Walla said: “Although the war is over, another battle has begun and that is the battle of rehabilitating the soldiers and healing the wounds that may accompany them for the rest of their lives.”

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