Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Friends and family mourn at the funeral of American lone soldier Alex Sasaki, at the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem, March 28, 2019.

The IDF Human Resources division on Tuesday published a summary of casualties in the Army for 2021. According to the data, in the past year, 31 servicemen died – a slight increase compared to 28 in 2020, and 27 in 2019.

One soldier, Sgt. Omar Tabib, was killed by an anti-tank during an operation on the Gaza border. Another, Nahal soldier Yonatan Granot, was killed by his buddy who discharged a weapon he didn’t know was loaded – a “weapon-related crime.” 10 soldiers died in civilian road accidents, two others in accidents that may have been suicide. Six died of illnesses.


Two who were not listed are Border Patrol soldier Barel Hadaria Shmueli, who is counted by the Israel Police, and an Intelligence officer who died in a military prison as a civilian.

Some of the soldiers died in circumstances of suspected suicide – a slight increase from last year when 9 casualties were recorded with suspicion of suicide. In the previous year, 2019, there were 12 suspected cases of suicide.

“There is an upward trend in suicides,” said HR chief, Brigadier General Yoram Knafo. “In order to prevent such cases, a committee is appointed for each case, beyond the IDF military police investigation. We examine every conclusion, apply every lesson.”

He further noted that there was one lone soldier among the 11 deaths.

The HR chief added: “We are reducing access to weapons. We have introduced in the IDF the ability to locate a missing soldier in any given unit and we are using all means to locate this soldier and prevent them from reaching undesirable places (such as the Palestinian Authority – DI). We have set up a lone soldiers’ center that’s available 24/7 to accompany the lone soldiers and provide them with a variety of services, including mental health services.”

In 2021 there were 67 IDF soldiers in critical condition, mostly from illness, of whom 11 contracted the Corona.

“Every soldier in critical condition is part of the IDF family, and we have established a unique dept. to strengthen the connection between the IDF wounded and disabled and the commanders of the units,” said Brigadier General Knafo.


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