After Israeli Attack, 50% Gaza Children have PTSD, 70% have regular Nightmares

By IMEMC | – –

Gaza Community Mental Health Program’s (GCMHP) Deputy Director General for Professional Affairs Taysir Diab Thursday said around 51% of Gaza’s children and 31% of its adults suffer Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result to the latest Israeli mass attack on the besieged Gaza Strip.

These results were presented following a series of activities organized by the program to test the psychological condition and mental health of Gaza’s community; including children and adults.

According to WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency, Diab along with Head of External Affairs and Resources Development Department Husam El-Nounou met with a delegation from the GIZ, which included the Regional Director of GIZ Rudolf Rogg, accompanied with GIZ Gaza-Representative Wael Safi.

The meeting, held in the GCMHP’s headquarters in Gaza, aimed at strengthening the means of joint cooperation between the GCMHP and the GIZ.

GCMHP’s Director General Yasser Abu Jamei warmly welcomed the visiting delegation, giving a brief about key activities and services provided by the GCMHP to the Palestinian community through its therapeutic and psychological interventions, in addition to its advocacy efforts, and developing the skills of professionals working in the field of community mental health.

Showing evidence and statistics collected from research and studies, Abu Jamei reaffirmed the need to offer the Palestinian people access to many psycho social and mental health services.

GCMHP’s Director General stated that GCMHP has bought a piece of land on which its permanent headquarter, funded by the Islamic Development Bank, will be built, and it will include Gaza Community Centre and departments affiliated with the GCMHP.

Diab illustrated the reasons why a great deal of men didn’t participate in the community mental health activities carried out by GCMHP, the most important of which was the excessive anger that this segment of the society is feeling because they are homeless until now, in addition to the feeling of shame for appearing in a weaker position.

The high percentage of Palestinian families in Gaza that is suffering from mental and psychological issues is not a new topic, nor a surprising one. According to Save the Children, “Homelessness and repeated exposure to violence, coupled with soaring unemployment for parents and limited mental health support, have prevented children from recovering from the mental trauma of war.”

Save the Children CEO Justin Forsyth said in a statement, ‘Many children in Gaza have now lived through three wars in the past seven years, the last one notable for its brutality. They are emotionally and, in some cases, physically shattered.”

According to the organization’s report, “An average of 75% of children surveyed experience unusual bedwetting regularly. In one area, al-Shoka, nearly half the children interviewed wet the bed every night. Up to 89% of parents reported that their children suffer consistent feelings of fear, while more than 70% of children said they worried about another war. On average seven out of 10 children interviewed suffer regular nightmares.”


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6 Responses

    • Not quite… Netanyahu orchestrated a special operation after wrongly accusing Hamas of kidnapping and killing three illegal youth settlers in West Bank Palestinian territory (as partitioned by the UN). Netanyahu went as far as waiting for three weeks after the kidnapping news to irritate the Israelis, and get their full support. He was aired to use the Israeli forces to rampage through the West Bank, abducting legislators, politicians, and virtually anyone who was publicly associated with the political party Hamas. Hamas officials vehemently denied any connection with the disappearance of the settlers. Palestinian officials challenged the campaign of mass abductions as a violation of international law.

      Worth noting is the fact that the raids against Hamas officials came within a month after the Palestinian Authority announced the formation of a unity government that included both the Hamas and the Fateh, which has long acted as an arm of the Israeli occupation government in the West Bank. Israeli officials were alarmed by this planned development, for a unification between the two Palestinian factions that had long been divided. The U.S. was even considering working with the unity government, terrifying Israeli officials who had tried to discredit the Palestinian unification efforts.

      After the three youth’s bodies were found, Netanyahu stated unequivocally: “They were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by animals in human form. Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay”. Six weeks later, after the abduction and torturous interrogation of hundreds of Palestinians in the West Bank, there had still been no evidence showing Hamas’ involvement – or even the involvement of any Palestinians at all – in the deaths of the three youth.

      Some 25 days later, Israeli police Mickey Rosenfeld told BBC reporter Jon Donnison that “men who killed 3 Israeli teens were def[initely] a lone cell, Hamas affiliated but not operating under leadership, contradicting the claims from the Netanyahu government”, adding that “if kidnapping had been ordered by Hamas leadership, they’d have known about it in advance.” Besides implying that Israel has moles within the leadership of the Hamas party, this statement also draws into question the stated justification for Israel’s offensive into Gaza, which had already claimed up to 1,000 lives at the time…

      This was not the first time that Israeli officials had admitted that they did not believe Hamas was behind the disappearance and subsequent deaths of the teens.

      The majority of analysts familiar with the issue say that the ongoing Israeli offensive in Gaza had nothing to do with the three teens (or the subsequent increase in Palestinian resistance shelling that followed the Israeli raids and abductions of 800 Hamas-affiliated people in the West Bank), but was meant to challenge the Palestinian Authority’s unity government, and had been planned for months… To divide to rule… Ever heard of that very old empire saying, Natalie Lee?

    • You need a law degree. An occupied or blockaded population has the right to resist. Classic example is world condemnation for Nazi actions against the Warsaw Ghetto.

    • but it isn’t commensurate; the home made high school science experiment rockets mostly land uselessly in the desert and have caused a tiny fraction of the deaths and damage of Israeli bombardment of Gaza. Moreover Israelis are not trapped in a large outdoor prison.

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