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January 11, 2022 11:18 am
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IDF Releases 2021 Casualty Statistics, With Suicides a Concern

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Israeli soldiers walk around tanks in a field near the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, on its Israeli side May 14, 2021. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

The IDF published on Tuesday its annual list of casualties for 2021, stating that 31 soldiers were killed over the past year.

The sole combat casualty was Omer Tabib, who fell in battle when an anti-tank missile struck his jeep during Operation Guardian of the Walls in May 2021. Another soldier, Yonatan Granot, died in a non-combat shooting incident.

Non-combat casualties included 10 soldiers killed in traffic accidents and six who died of disease. None of the latter group died of the coronavirus.

Eleven soldiers died of suicide, including one lone soldier. The IDF has set up a special center for the treatment of lone soldiers with psychological issues.

Brig. Gen. Yoram Knafo, head of the IDF Manpower Directorate, told Israeli media that the IDF is making efforts to identify and treat suicidal ideation in soldiers as quickly as possible in order to prevent suicides.

He added that the IDF has mental health personnel available in every division and is seeking to increase their numbers.

“We are investing every effort in order to bring down the number of suicides,” he said, according to Israel’s Channel 13. He also noted that, of the 11 suicides, three were by soldiers of Ethiopian descent, a disturbingly high percentage.

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