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Condition of army vet with PTSD who set himself on fire deteriorates

Hospital warns of immediate danger to Itzik Saidyan’s life, as he remains in critical condition since his self-immolation outside offices of department for disabled veterans

IDF veteran Itzik Saidyan, who set himself alight outside a Defense Ministry office on April 12, 2021. (screenshot: Channel 12)
IDF veteran Itzik Saidyan, who set himself alight outside a Defense Ministry office on April 12, 2021. (screenshot: Channel 12)

The hospital treating a former soldier with post-traumatic stress disorder who set himself alight last week reported a deterioration in his condition on Wednesday.

In a statement, Sheba Medical Center said Itzik Saidyan was in critical condition and that there was an immediate danger to his life.

Saidyan, 26, has been hospitalized since his self-immolation outside the Petah Tikva offices of the Rehabilitation Department for disabled soldiers, after years of struggling to receive the care he requested.

In response, Israeli politicians have vowed to improve the system and address the problems. Defense Minister Benny Gantz formed a new committee within the ministry to make recommendations and enact reforms, led by wounded IDF veteran Ziv Shilon who lost his left hand in battle in 2012.

The IDF Veteran’s Association has said that Saidyan was frustrated over his treatment by authorities. He was recognized by the Defense Ministry as having 25 percent disability from his post-traumatic stress disorder, but had requested 50% recognition. The ministry had refused, saying at least a portion of his condition was due to childhood trauma, not his military service.

Saidyan served in the Golani Infantry Brigade during 2014’s Operation Protective Edge. He participated in the Battle of Shuja’iyya, a neighborhood in Gaza City that saw some of the fiercest clashes in the conflict

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