French Group Helps Palestinians Overcome Settlers’ Trauma

NABLUS, September 2, 2013 (WAFA) – Médecins du Monde (MdM) started a new project in May 2013 providing psycho-social support to Palestinian communities most affected by  Israeli settlers’ attacks on Palestinian villages and military activities in Nablus governorate, a Press release issued by MdM said Monday.

“MdM objective is to mitigate the impact of violence, especially on the mental health of Palestinians,’ it said. “It also aims to limit future attacks by denouncing settlers’ and military violence and requiring higher accountability of the perpetrators.”

In Nablus governorate, the number of Palestinian casualties due to settlers’ attacks was four times higher in the first quarter of 2013 than it was for the same period in 2012, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Interventions by the Israeli forces, constant verbal and physical abuses, inhuman and degrading treatment also contribute to create a general climate of fear and intimidation, said the release.

MdM conducted the pilot phase of the project in nine villages of Nablus and Salfit governorates and uncovered the highly negative impact that such violence has on the mental health status of Palestinians.

“We met people suffering from depression, anxiety, symptomatic stress and Post Traumatic Stress Disorders,” said the release.

MdM’s intervention goes even further as it refers people in need of legal aid, livelihood or agricultural support to other organizations in order to encourage a comprehensive humanitarian response, it added.

source: WAFA NEWS