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Israel: Two Years After the War – Open Wounds Remain

idf tank.jpgTwo years following the Second Lebanon War and for two combatants, the open wounds remain. Dror Kendelshein was in a prolonged comatose state and Yonatan Levine remains hospitalized since sustaining his wounds. Dror stated, “If I knew it would be like this I would not have fought.”

Just a few days ago, the family of Dror stood outside the operating room, praying that the IDF reservist, who fought in the IDF’s combat engineering unit in the war, would endure another surgery, the tenth surgery on his head since being wounded. He is admitted to Ichilov Hospital.

Dror was injured by gunfire to his head, and the bullet exploded in his skull, leaving him comatose for seven months. He was injured in a battle in Bint Jbeil. One year and 11 months later, he underwent a surgical procedure to close the skull, which Yitzchak, his father, labeled a success, contributing to his emerging from his difficult state.

Yitzchak stated, “I remember that day well. There was a knock at the door and outside I saw IDF officers. I knew what this meant and I did not want to open the door. I hesitated and it knocked again so I opened – not having any alternative. I was told that Dror was seriously wounded. We traveled to Rambam [Medical Center] and life has changed from that day on.

Members of the family are with Dror 14 hours a day, having made the trip to a number of hospitals and rehabilitation facilities. They explain the goal is a simple one, to assist Dror towards rehabilitating himself.

The Kendelshein family has a lot of anger towards the system, explaining it is unforgivable that someone who risks his life by fighting for his country must now fight for his life, fight against a non-forgiving bureaucracy.

“We are compelled to make medical decision, fight for funds for rehab and advocate for Yonatan, all on our own,” family members lamented.

His family continues seeking assistance, blaming the army and the government for abandoning Yonatan, leaving them alone following the battle to fight this battle of rehabilitating their son.

Yonatan, 27, an IDF paratroop reserve officer was activated in July 2006. A mortar shell went off in front of him on 10 August. Since then, he has been unconscious. His father, Yishai, sustained a stroke a month ago and he fought that the two be side-by-side in the head rehabilitation unit. Yishai is scheduled to be released on Friday. He will then begin making the daily visits to Yonatan’s bedside.

Yishai admits it is most difficult, but he does not despair and he remains hopeful. In another three months, Yonatan is expected to return home, in the meantime, the family home is undergoing construction to accommodate Yonatan’s special needs.

“Yonatan is a special young man with a strong will to live. That is what got him through the last two years,” explains Yishai. “The state treats him like some unwanted leftover. We are a nation without a heart. They would have preferred if he was killed but they just do not say it.”

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

2 Responses

  1. There is a story that Ben Gurion visited the Chazon Ish (lehavdil eleph havdolos) and said to him, “I have ahavas Yisroel, you have ahavas ha’torah. The two are not so far apart; why can’t we find common ground?” The Chazon Ish answered. “Both ahavas Yisroel and ahavas ha’torah must stem from ahavas Hashem.” End of interview.

    Obviously, people who have no ahavas Hashem have no real ahavas Yisroel either. They only love themselves.

  2. Its no news. Everyone knows that ISrael is heartless and just doesn’t care for their soldiers and avadai for the ordinary citizens.

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