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Isr J Psychiatry Relat Sci. 2012;49(3):211-8.

Psycho-social reactions of Palestinian families in Israel and the West Bank following war-related losses.

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The Max Stern Academic College of Emek Yezreel, Israel and Al-Qasemi Academy - Academic College for Education, Baka Al Garbeia, Israel.



to identify psycho-social reactions of Palestinian families to personal losses during the Second Intifada in the West Bank and the Second Lebanese war in Israel.


Narratives were collected from support group participants in the west Bank and in individual and family therapy in Israel. the narratives were qualitatively analyzed to identify themes relating to psycho-social reactions to war losses.


themes emerging from the west Bank support groups' narratives mostly mirrored those gathered in the therapy sessions in Israel. In both sites, bereaved families exhibited similar psycho-social reactions to war-related losses. Both groups coped with loss collectively and in congruence with their common ethno-cultural background. Also, religious beliefs provided explanations. the loss experiences were ongoing and accumulative for participants in the west Bank, while in Israel it was mostly a single event.


Both studies referred solely to war-related losses.


the relationships of each population group with the State of Israel shaped their political, national and personal reactions to the loss. Families of "shahids/martyrs" in the west Bank gained socio-political respect, while in Israel, Arab citizens suffering war-related losses did not receive the same political respect from Israeli society, but were awarded sympathy by their communities. In Israel the situation is further complicated since the State is both the enemy and provider of material support, comfort and rescue.

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