When Michaela (Mica) Levit joined the Israeli navy in November of 2017, her dad and mom knew she was going to be a fighter, however final week she was discovered useless exterior her base in central Israel.
“We knew she wasn’t going to go wherever else within the military,” her mom Orit Levit instructed The Jerusalem Submit. “She instructed us she wasn’t going to Israel to be a secretary, she wished to be a fighter. We knew that if she was going, she wouldn’t do the rest.”
Levit described her daughter as “vigorous, optimistic and blissful,” as somebody who was at all times encouraging and supporting her associates in instances of want and the lifetime of the occasion and “glue of the group” through the happier moments.
“She cherished everybody, she by no means had dangerous phrase to say… She was so good to her household, by no means wished us to fret, to disappoint us. She was an angel.”
What occurred “wasn’t something we anticipated of her,” Orit mentioned.
“I by no means felt she was remoted in Israel, she had the assist of prolonged household. She had so many invites and she or he instructed me ‘Mum, typically I really feel dangerous that I need to keep residence on the weekends.’”
And it wasn’t solely household, Orit mentioned. “Quite a lot of her associates are sending condolences and [saying] that their hearts are damaged and that they are going to by no means meet one other particular person like her… She had a neighborhood.”
Orit’s center youngster, Mica, moved to Israel in June 2017 and settled at Kibbutz Kinneret, the place she took ulpan courses earlier than becoming a member of the IDF by the Garin Tzabar program in November, drafting into the blended Caracal fight battalion. She had simply moved to an residence with different lone troopers in Hadera and was going by the military’s crew chief coaching course (Course Makim) when she took her life.
“She determined that she wished to affix the military when she was 16 years outdated. She wished to be a commander, she actually did. She referred to as me per week earlier than this occurred and instructed me that she handed all of her health assessments and was doing very well,” Orit mentioned.
In line with Orit, the military has been “very useful” and supportive to the household. She instructed the Submit that she spoke to the commander of Caracal who referred to as Mica a “robust lady who was vigorous.”
Troopers who commit suicide are formally outlined as “suspected suicides” till the Army Police have completed investigating their case. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit instructed the Submit on Tuesday that her case remains to be being investigated.
Throughout their service, lone troopers are entitled to help from the state, together with month-to-month residing stipends, reductions on electrical energy payments, exemption from municipal taxes, rental help or lodging offered by the Aguda Lemaan Hahayal (Soldier’s Welfare Affiliation) and additional monetary assist for fight troopers.
As soon as they full their navy service, lone troopers obtain NIS 12,000 over the course of 1 12 months from the military, the choice to stay for 3 months in a Beit Hahayal and preparation and monetary assist to finish their matriculation and psychometric exams.
However the annual State Comptroller report has discovered main deficiencies in how the navy offers with lone troopers whose wants the IDF has not totally examined.
In a worrying pattern denied by the IDF, 19 year-old Levit was the third lone soldier to have taken their life in 2019. The excessive variety of suicides in simply the primary half of the 12 months has led to rising criticism by each politicians and immigrant teams.
Alex Sasaki was discovered useless of an obvious overdose in March, and Stephan Martinetz reportedly hung himself in a lone soldier middle in Haifa after searching for assist for psychological well being issues on quite a few events. One other lone soldier was discovered useless of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in November 2018.
However in response to IDF figures launched in January, there was a big lower within the variety of suicides within the IDF in 2018, with solely eight of 43 deaths having been dominated as suicides.
Compared to the earlier three years the place suicide had been the main reason behind loss of life within the Israel Protection Forces, the vast majority of fatalities in 2018 had been as a consequence of automobile accidents.
However following the loss of life of Sasaki, a US-born lone soldier serving within the Golani brigade, the director of KeepOlim – an NGO offering assist for brand new immigrants – denounced the shortage of primary assist providers for lone troopers, calling their scenario “deplorable.”
“I blame each one that agreed to carry troopers right here and never present the right providers and assist for the wants of the troopers,” mentioned KeepOlim director LiAmi Lawrence, including that of their of their community of 40,000 new immigrants, there have been 10 suicides and drug overdoses over the past 4 years, 5 of whom had been lone troopers both throughout or after their service.
Outgoing MK Ksenia Svetlova additionally voiced her outrage, lashing out on the navy on Twitter and urging Jews residing overseas to not be part of the IDF till the scenario modified.
“Younger women and men arrive in Israel infused with the Zionist mission and are returning to their dad and mom overseas in coffins,” she mentioned. “Not in a heroic battle however with a shot to the pinnacle, an overdose of painkillers, hanging, or one thing else. Everyone seems to be outraged and nothing adjustments.”
Whereas Sasaki’s loss of life was referred to as a suicide by KeepOlim, the navy instructed the Submit on Sunday that his case remains to be being investigated and has not but been dominated a suicide. His dad and mom additionally refute KeepOlim’s declare, saying it precipitated “vital ache.”
For Orit Levit, she instructed the Submit that had she identified of the worrying pattern, she would have acted in a different way together with her daughter.
“I don’t assume there may be sufficient assist, there may be extra that may be finished. Does the military assist them? Sure. However there may be way more that may be finished for these children by way of psychological assist,” she mentioned. “The military helps them, however these children will be helped with psychological well being assist. They aren’t the identical as common troopers from Israel. They want extra assist.”
“If I can do something, it is to make it possible for no different soldier has to come back again in a casket.”
Jeremy Sharon contributed to this report.
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