After being wounded in an attack on its members, UNIFIL calls on the Lebanese authorities to hold them accountable


A report published by the newspaper “The Times of Israel“, Thursday, the merits and consequences of a “deferred” problem that Israel may face in the next stage, and related to the conditions of the army’s wounded, who were injured during the ongoing military operations in the Gaza Strip.

According to the newspaper, the number of infected people exceeds 6,000 soldiers, and the report published Thursday stated that “the increasing number of them poses a difficult challenge to the health system.”

The Times of Israel reviewed stories of Israeli soldiers who were injured in the Gaza battles, including Igor Todoran, who suffered a “life-changing” injury after a missile fell on his tank.

Todoran, 27 years old, is a reservist who volunteered after the Hamas attack on October 7.

The missile that targeted his tank resulted in him losing his right leg below the hip.

He is part of an increasing number of wounded soldiers, according to the Israeli newspaper, which indicates that they are “a large segment of Israeli society suffering from deep psychological trauma.”

anxiety

Given the large numbers of infected people, their advocates worry that Israel is “not prepared to meet their needs.”

The Times of Israel quotes Idan Kleiman, who heads the non-profit Disabled Veterans Organization, as saying: “I have never seen a scale like this and a density like this,” referring to the numbers of infected people.

“We must rehabilitate these people,” added Kleiman, whose organization defends more than 50,000 soldiers wounded in the current and previous conflicts.

The Israeli Ministry of Defense said in mid-December that more than 6,000 members of the security forces, including police and other agencies, had been injured since Hamas militants stormed southern Israel on October 7.

The attack resulted in the deaths of about 1,200 people and the taking of more than 240 hostages, most of them civilians.

The newspaper explains that nearly 900 of these soldiers have been injured since Israel began its ground offensive in late October, as its forces clashed during close combat with Hamas militants in Gaza.

“They add more,” Yagil Levy, a professor of civil-military relations at the Open University, said of the wounded.

He added to the Israeli newspaper: “There may be a long-term impact if we see a large percentage of people with disabilities that Israel must rehabilitate, which could lead to economic issues in addition to social issues.”

For more than two and a half months, the Israeli war has brought unprecedented suffering to the Palestinians in Gaza.

The Hamas Ministry of Health in the Strip says that more than 21,000 people were killed, the majority of them women and children.

Other health sources from inside Gaza also indicate that the Israeli air and ground bombardment has turned more than a third of Gaza’s buildings into piles of rubble.

The Ministry of Health itself in Gaza reports nearly 55,000 wounded, and says amputations have become common.

‘Their plight is declining’

The Israelis still largely stand behind the war’s goals, which are limited to destroying Hamas’ military and governmental capabilities and securing the return of 133 hostages believed to be still held by the movement.

In a country that imposes compulsory military service on most Jews, the fate of soldiers is a sensitive and emotional topic, according to The Times of Israel.

She adds, “The names of fallen soldiers are announced at the top of the news bulletins every hour.”

While their funerals are filled with strangers who come to show solidarity, their families receive generous support from the army.

But historically, the plight of the wounded has declined, the paper notes, “despite being lauded as heroes, second only to the stories of soldiers killed in battle.”

As the hype surrounding their stories of service and survival subsides, the wounded are left to face a new reality that can be confusing and difficult.

However, the exceptionally large numbers of wounded in this war will provide a clear reminder of the conflict for years to come.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed the “sacrifices of the wounded” during a recent visit to the Sheba Medical Center, the largest hospital in the country, and said: “You are true heroes.”

The Ministry of Defense also added that it was working “at full capacity” to help the wounded, and that it was working to “reduce red tape and appoint staff to deal with the influx.”

‘Some people’s lives were ruined’

The Times of Israel reports another story about a wounded Israeli named Jonathan Ben Hamou.

He is 22 years old, and lost his left leg below the knee after Hamas militants in Gaza fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the bulldozer he was using to help clear the way for other forces.

Now he looks forward to the day when he can use state-funded prosthetics for him, he tells the Israeli newspaper.

He, who has mostly used a wheelchair since the accident that occurred in early November, adds that he “plans to eventually achieve his goal of attending a course for military leaders.”

But Kleiman, who was himself injured in an operation in the Gaza Strip in the early 1990s, said he believes the authorities do not realize the seriousness of the situation.

The Veterans with Disabilities group is stepping up efforts to address what it suspects will be overwhelming needs for a new cadre of wounded soldiers.

Kleiman added that the organization is tripling its workforce, adding therapists and staff to help wounded veterans navigate bureaucracy and modernize rehabilitation centers.

Kleiman added that the number of injured is likely to reach nearly 20,000 once those diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are included.

“If wounded soldiers do not receive the mental and physical care they need, including easier access to their homes or vehicles, this could hinder their rehabilitation and delay or even prevent their return to the workforce,” he explained.

“There are wounded whose lives have been destroyed,” added Aidit Shafran Gitelman, a senior researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies, a think tank in Tel Aviv. “They will have to deal with their wounds for the rest of their lives.”


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