Life of IDF veteran who set himself alight in 'imminent danger'

Sheba Medical Center says the condition of 26-year-old Itzik Saidyan has worsened, 9 days after the 2014 Gaza War veteran set himself on fire at Defense Ministry's Rehabilitation Department offices following years-long battle over disability

Adir Yanko|
The condition of an IDF veteran who set himself alight last week has worsened and his life is now "in imminent danger", hospital officials said Wednesday.
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  • Two days before Memorial Day, 26-year-old Itzik Saidyan entered office of the Defense Ministry's Rehabilitation Department in Petah Tikva with a canister of flammable fluid that security at the premises thought was a bottle of water and waited in the lobby, after his requests to adjust the specification of his disability were declined several times.
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    Itzik Saidyan during his service in the IDF
    (Photo: Facebook)
    At some point, he doused himself with the fluid, and then set himself on fire in the entryway. He was taken by ambulance to Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv, having sustained 100 percent burns and has remained in critical condition since.
    Director of the Burn Center at Sheba Medical Center Prof. Josef Haik said that Saidian suffered deep and extensive burns all over his body and had undergone a surgery that lasted for three hours.
    Saidyan was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after his service in the 2014 Gaza War. Entering the Palestinian enclave with the Golani brigade, he took part in the heavy Battle of Shuja’iyya, in which 13 Israeli soldiers were killed.
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    Itzik Saidyan
    (Photo: Facebook)
    Saidyan was recognized as having 25 percent disability due to his PTSD, but was frustrated with the authorities' refusal to up his disability to 50 percent.
    The Defense Ministry's refusal apparently stemmed from the fact that he had not suffered any serious physical injuries during his service.
    His family and friends said due to his mental health issues he was struggling to lead a normal life and hold a steady job to provide for himself.
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