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The Impact of Conflict on Children: The Palestinian Experience

Qouta, S. PhD; Odeh, J. MD

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Violence permeates all parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Since the onset of the Al-Aqsa Intifada on the September, 28, 2000, through October 31, 2003, more than 51,000 Palestinians have been injured and 2700 have been killed. Palestinian children suffer from various physical aliments due to their disadvantaged situation, including 10% who suffer from moderate to severe malnutrition. The children also suffer from significant mental health disorders, including 33% with acute levels of posttraumatic stress disorder, 49% with moderate levels and 15.6% low levels. In “hot” areas, 55% of the children have acute levels of posttraumatic stress disorder, 35% moderate levels, and 9% low levels.

Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, Gaza City, Gaza (Dr Qouta); and the Palestinian Happy Child Centre, Jerusalem (Dr Odeh).

Corresponding author: S. Qouta, PhD, Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, PO Box 1049, Gaza City, Gaza Strip, Palestine (e-mail: samir@gcmhp.net).

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.