Army vet with PTSD who self-immolated begins speaking again

IDF disabled veteran Itzik Saidyan. (Facebook)
IDF disabled veteran Itzik Saidyan. (Facebook)

The condition of a former soldier with PTSD who has been hospitalized since April after self-immolating in an act of protest has further improved, with his family and other reporting that he is now speaking.

Itzik Saidyan, 26, was visited at the hospital today by Religious Zionism MKs Bezalel Smotrich and Ofir Sofer, as well as singer Aviv Geffen.

Saidyan remains in serious condition, but he has been gradually improving since being awoken from a coma late last month, his brother Avi tells the Kan public broadcaster,

“Itzik is a warrior and he fought for every citizen in the country and everyone owes him a debt. Don’t stop praying for him,” Avi Saidyan says.

Saidyan has been hospitalized since April following 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.

His act brought the Defense Ministry’s treatment of wounded veterans under intense scrutiny.

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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