"From the age of 6, I was diagnosed with medical problems," says H. (20) from Tel Aviv. "I had ten surgeries on my ears, abdomen, legs and other places. With each operation, my mental state also deteriorated and I began to undergo psychological treatments." His difficult physical condition was joined at the age of 13 by another component - the divorce of his parents.
When H. received his first order and had to present medical documents attesting to his condition, he felt that he could not cope with the military system. As his condition deteriorated, he began to seek psychiatric treatment and medication. "I submitted to the army all the medical certificates showing that I have a 70% disability, and they decided that I was fit for profile 45. I knew that the military framework wasn't right for me, because I had several more surgeries and medical and mental treatments planned ahead of me, but the army insisted that I could enlist."
Gantz responds to a publication in Israel Hayom: "The decline in the rate of recruitment to the IDF is a major problem of the state" //Amir Ettinger
At H.'s insistence, the IDF considered him a draft dodger, issued a stay of exit order against him and even threatened to issue an arrest warrant. When he saw that he could not manage on his own, he turned to legal aid, and only then went through a special committee that set profile 21 for him and decided to release him. "If I had been forced to enlist, I really don't know how it would have ended," he explained.
H. is just one example among many of the testimonies recently received by the Shabbat system regarding the process of hiring and assigning candidates for recruitment. The testimonies, which will be published in full on Friday in the supplement, paint a disturbing picture of a crisis of trust between many young people and their parents and the IDF. As a result, an industry has developed, among other things, that offers exemptions from security service to those who are not interested in serving, or who are convinced that they are unable to do so. We note that the number of exemption applications jumped by 60 per cent within a year, half of them on mental health grounds.
Attorney Eden Zino: "The young people are hurt and are dealing with the consequences", Photo: IDF Spokesperson
According to testimonies from professional sources, it seems that the IDF needs to change its approach in absorbing and sorting the NCOs from the very first encounter with them.
"The IDF's recruitment policy is very tough on NCOs who are incompetent or in need of leniency," says attorney Eden Zino, an expert on military law and soldiers' rights, who has handled dozens of similar cases. "The military system is very opaque and sometimes indifferent to the problems of some young people, who end up getting hurt and dealing with the consequences."
"Even if there has been a change in the candidate's status since then, or if he did not submit the documents properly, the stamp has already been given and it is very difficult to change that," she said.
The full article - this weekend in the supplement and on the "Israel Hayom" website
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