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63% of Children Near Gaza Suffering from PTSD

By Eliezer Sherman

Lian Haziza - her home in Sderot was hit by missiles from Gaza

No less than 63 percent of children in the southern Israeli town of Sderot suffer from post-traumatic stress, mostly due to the intense rounds of violence that have occurred between Israel and the Gaza Strip, Israel’s Channel 2 reports.

“We need to get back to the basic truth of our right to this land,” said Tzipi Hotovely, who is running the foreign ministry’s day-to-day operations, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu retains the title of foreign minister. The land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people, she declared, and their claim to it is as old as the Bible. “It’s important to say this” when making Israel’s case before the world, she said, and not to focus solely on Israel’s security interests.

Of course security is a profound concern, Hotovely observed, but arguments grounded in justice, morality, and deep historical rights are stronger. She even quoted the medieval Jewish sage Rashi, who wrote that Genesis opens with God’s creation of the world to preempt any subsequent charge that the Jewish claim to the land was without merit.

The figures were compiled in a new study by Professor Mooli Lahad, who specializes in psychotrauma.

And as summer vacation approached in Israel this week, the children of Sderot and other communities surrounding Gaza related memories of last summer’s violent conflict with Gazan terrorists.

“Summer is nearing again, the big vacation, and immediately we think there’s going to be another round [of violence] on the way, with small explosions and attacks here and there,” said Shai-Li Wastland, 16, from Nir Oz.

Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip fought a 50-day war last summer in which thousands of rockets were fired at Israeli population centers.

While communities further away from the border have as much as a minute and a half to reach bomb shelters, for communities closest to the border, sometimes only a few seconds are available as mortar shells are fired from close range.


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Tags: Soldiers and defense, Land and Nature, Youth, Arts and Culture, Israel Engagement, Terror

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