The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) experienced the lowest death toll ever in 2019, with 27 soldiers declared “killed in the line of duty”, according to figures from the IDF’s personnel department. In comparison, 43 Israeli soldiers died the year before.
-The number of soldiers killed in 2019 was the lowest since the founding of the IDF, Michel Yanko, head of the directorate, told a meeting with journalists.
One of the 27 dead was Sergeant Zachary Baumel, a US-Israeli soldier killed during the first Lebanon war in 1982. The reason is that he was officially registered as “missing in combat” until his earthly remains were returned. to Israel in 2019. Only then was he added to the statistics of fallen soldiers.
The list of deaths includes reservists, officers, conscripts and recruits. Despite the lowest number since the IDF was formed, Yanko says they are still working to further reduce the number, writes Times of Israel.
It was also the decade’s lowest number seriously injured in 2019, with 35 soldiers seriously injured. In comparison, 41 were seriously injured the year before.
The biggest cause of death for soldiers in 2019 was suicide, with at least twelve soldiers taking their own lives. Yanko says the IDF is actively working to reduce the number of suicides, including through better access to psychological help.
The second most common cause of death last year was traffic accidents, which claimed the lives of five soldiers. Others were killed in training accidents, collisions and illness.