(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Researchers have "unequivocal" proof that former prisoners of war from the 1973 Yom Kippur War suffer from higher rates of illness and premature death than soldiers who were not taken captive.
The findings were presented by Professor Avi Ori, the lead researcher of a 30-year study on Israeli POWs, at a conference held at Netanya Academic College Monday.
Hundreds of former POWs, their spouses and (now adult) children, participated in the study, which was initiated by Israel Prize laureate Professor Zahava Solomon of Tel Aviv University. Solomon and Ori, a medical professor, worked on the study.
The Netanya conference was sponsored by Erim Balaila ("Awake at Night"), an organization that advocates for the rights of Israeli former POWs.
"The study proves that the government and the Defense Ministry must see the rescued POWs as a unique group and support them accordingly,” Netanya Academic College’s president Professor Zvi Arad said. “This is a moral obligation that is owed to anyone who endangered his life and physical and mental health for the state of Israel and its residents.”