Wednesday, May 25th | 24 Iyyar 5782

May 5, 2019 3:48 pm

Disabled Israeli Man Who Can’t Reach Bomb Shelter in Time Says He Feels Like ‘Cannon Fodder’

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Disabled Israeli man Yossi Tal demonstrating how he gets down stairs in the event of a red alert siren. Photo: screenshot.

A disabled Israeli man who is physically unable to reach a bomb shelter in time when red alert sirens sound in his hometown told an Israeli news outlet on Sunday that he feels like “cannon fodder.”

Yossi Tal suffers from cirrhosis of the liver and diabetes, and doctors were forced to amputate his left leg below the knee. He is confined to a wheelchair.

Tal lives in the Gaza border area, and must contend with frequent sirens. However, the closest shelter is 300 meters away and he must descend a flight of stairs to get there.

This is impossible to accomplish in the 30 seconds it requires for a rocket fired from Gaza to strike Israel.

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“It’s impossible for me to get to the shelter,” Tal told Israeli news website Hadashot. “I slither down the stairs sometimes to the garden and back. There’s constant sirens and explosions — very frightening, on the Gaza border area. We’re constantly blown up — I feel like cannon fodder.”

Tal asked the local council for help, which recommended that he move temporarily to a quieter area in the town of Gan Yavne.

Yuval Wagner, a disabled combat veteran who founded the advocacy group Access Israel, said, “The State of Israel is not prepared to treat people with disabilities in an emergency situation.”

“It’s simply scandalous,” he asserted, that in such situations “people with disabilities are left with no protection at all. It appears that we are worth less.”

“I call on the prime minister and defense minister, and to members of the 21st Knesset to remember that people with disabilities and the elderly in Israel are 30 percent of the population,” Wagner said. “It is unacceptable to us to be without any protection like all other citizens of the state.”

Hundreds of missiles have been fired at Israel’s south in the last 36 hours. Four Israeli civilians have been killed and the IDF has undertaken major retaliatory strikes.

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