TEL AVIV (May. 7)
About two-thirds of the 3,500 Israeli soldiers wounded in Lebanon during the past two years suffer permanent disabilities, according to Yaacov Maoz, chairman of the Disabled Soldiers Organization of the Israel Defense Force. He put their number at about 2,000.
Maoz spoke to reporters on the 10th anniversary of the establishment of Beit Halohem, the sports and rehabilitation facility for physically impaired former servicemen in Tel Aviv. He said about 400 of the wounded have a disability of 50 percent or more. The latter include five who are blind, more than 30 who suffered brain damage and paralysis, and six soldiers who lost both legs.
Maoz pointed out that the IDF’s definition of the gravity of a soldier’s wounds is based on his chances of remaining alive, not the extent of his disability. In addition to the wounded, 580 Israeli soldiers, border policemen and civilian employes of the army died in Lebanon, Maoz said.