During Memorial Day siren, dozens stand where IDF veteran self-immolated

Some 100 people gathered this morning at the site where an IDF veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder self-immolated on Monday, and stood there during the Memorial Day siren, Channel 12 news reports.

The people standing outside the Defense Ministry’s Rehabilitation Department offices in Petah Tikva held signs including “We are all Itzik Saidyan.”

Saidyan is in critical condition after setting himself alight. The IDF Veteran’s Association 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.

Protesters stand during the Memorial Day siren at the location where IDF veteran Itzik Saidyan set himself alight, on April 14, 2021 (video screenshot)

An organizer of the event said she had been unable to stop thinking about Saidyan’s case. “I understood I had to do something. I couldn’t just go on with my day,” Eliana Barbal said.

“It’s Memorial Day, when we remember the fallen [soldiers], and it’s intolerable that we don’t remember those who are still here and need help, and are met with indifference.”

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