IDF Officer Disarmed After He Threatens Suicide

An IDF officer barricaded himself inside a room at an army base but was overpowered by soldiers

David Lev,

Illustration: Israeli soldiers
Illustration: Israeli soldiers
Flash 90

An IDF officer barricaded himself inside a room at an army base Wednesday night, threatening to commit suicide. Soldiers were able to eventually overpower him and take him into custody.

The incident occurred at the Hatzeirim air force base in southern Israel. The officer, who had a weapon with him, barricaded himself inside an office on the base and demanded that the army carry out several requests, and said that he would kill himself if the demands were not fulfilled. His list of demands was not publicized.

Fellow officers began negotiating with him, attempting to talk him into laying down his weapon and opening the door. Soldiers, meanwhile, were able to get access to the room, and after some minutes, entered the room and overpowered the soldier.

He was taken into custody, pending a psychiatric examination, officers said.

The incident illustrates the issue of suicide in the army. Between 2002 and 2012, there were 237 incidents of soldiers taking their own lives, an average of 24 per year. That was far lower than for the decade between 1990 and 2000, when an average of 40 committed suicide annually.

The army attributed the lower rate to new assistance programs and an increase in the number of psychologists to serve soldiers.