IDF soldier dies after jumping out of moving car on highway

19-year-old Pvt. Abeba Darsakh, a new Golani recruit, apparently didn’t fit in well in the army, had fled his base

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Pvt. Abeba Darsakh (Courtesy)
Pvt. Abeba Darsakh (Courtesy)

An Israel Defense Forces soldier who was critically hurt earlier this week when he apparently jumped out of a moving vehicle on a major highway died of his wounds Wednesday morning.

The 19-year-old was named as Pvt. Abeba Darsakh, a new recruit in training in the Golani Brigade.

Darsakh had fled from his military base in northern Israel back to his home in Beit Shemesh, after apparently not fitting in well in the army, Hebrew-language media reports said.

But on Monday, after he was convinced to return to the military, he headed back to Regavim Camp, near the northern kibbutz of the same name, reports said.

En route in a taxi, Darsakh received a call, and shortly afterward he apparently jumped from the vehicle on Route 6, near Horeshim interchange.

He was taken to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva by Magen David Adom medics in critical condition, and succumbed to his injuries at the medical center overnight Tuesday.

The Military Police and the Israel Police were jointly investigating the incident as a suicide.

Suicide remained the leading cause of death for soldiers in 2020, with at least nine service members having taken their own lives, according to IDF Manpower Directorate commander Maj. Gen. Moti Almoz.

The number of suicides in 2020 represented a slight decrease from 2019, when 12 soldiers killed themselves, according to the IDF.

As a result of various prevention programs implemented throughout the years, the IDF maintains a lower suicide rate than the country in general and than many militaries around the world.

Almoz said in January that the military likely prevented four suicide attempts in 2020 by quickly locating soldiers who had gone missing from their units, something that would not have happened in years past.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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