Palestinian children facing psychological consequences following Israeli raids

Palestinian children Palestinian children Photo by Joel Carillet on iStock

23 September 2021

Testimonies of Palestinian families traumatized by armed violence.

Physical injures following armed violence are not the only worry that accompanies Palestinian families: psychological effects are debilitating as well, but not taken into account at the same level.

Yet, Nidal Rajabe, living in an occupied Palestinian territory, Silwan, is concerned about his children’s mental health. The reason for these attacks is that more than 1,500 Palestinian residents in Silwan are accused by Israel of building their proprieties without any building permit. Palestinian residents and human rights groups accused that Israel made it impossible to get the required building permits. Rajabe’s son Harby was shot in the back by Israeli forces and now is going through physical therapy. Because of that incident he is traumatized and in a permanent state of fear. His siblings:  Ahmed, 17, Marwa, 13, and twins Muhammad and Bisan, 9 are also in the same state of fear and trauma.  In the village of Kafr Qaddoum, Khalid Shteiwi, 15, is another child facing trauma: he was arrested two years ago and is now still in fear of another detention. In Nabi Saleh village, the Tamimi family is still mourning the loss of their son, Muhammad Tamimi who was 17 years old when he was shot by Israeli soldiers. “Muhammad was in the back yard when the soldiers shot tear gas into our home, forcing me to take the other young children into the inner rooms of the home for their safety,” his mother Bara Tamimi told.

Three Israeli human rights organizations – Physicians for Human Rights Israel, Yesh Din, and Breaking the Silence documented in a report, “A Life Exposed” the dangerous mental health repercussions of Israeli raids on Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank. The editorial stated that, “Home invasions may seriously impede daily functioning and the emotional and mental development of both adults and children (...) Home invasions by the Israeli military are characterized by unjustifiable and excessive use of force, arbitrariness, unpredictability and frequency, leaving families and individuals vulnerable to the decisions of soldiers, who hold immense power (...) They inflict psychological damage on both individuals and communities, as they involve a sudden, forced intrusion into the victims’ private space along with a real threat of physical harm.”

The editorial asked for Israeli and international pediatric organizations' help in order to raise awareness and to be the spokesperson of all traumatized children in Palestine.





Author: Giulia Francescon; Editor: Shrabya Ghimire

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