The IDF is Not to Blame for Suicides

In light of report that 3 soldiers committed suicide after Gaza war, parents come out in support of the IDF and call not to besmirch it.

Uzi Baruch and Cynthia Blank,

The right to serve
The right to serve
Flash 90

The parents of soldiers who fought in Operation Protective Edge are seeking to strengthen the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), against the backdrop of criticism following reports of soldiers in need of mental health care following the operation. 

In particular, it was reported that three soldiers from the Givati ​​Brigade who fought in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge, later committed suicide for unknown reasons. 

"The IDF is doing its best. Suicides of soldiers occur all year," parents say. "These are tragic cases, very difficult and painful for the family left behind. But we should not immediately associate it with the IDF and discredit the army. Soldiers are hospitalized, treated, and commit suicide for many different reasons," not necessarily related to their military service. 

IDF officials refuse to disclose the number of suicides per year but a senior officer pointed to a decrease from 35 suicides in 2006 to seven cases in 2013.

The same officer called for troops to be alert and to report on any uncooperative behavior among their fellow soldiers, a possible sign of mental distress. 

It should be added that during Operation Protective Edge, mental health officers were placed near the security fence, so that during a rest period, or an event, every soldier felt he could get treatment for mental distress, if needed.