As Passover approaches, we take time to reflect both on the recent events that have affected the security situation in Israel, and on the impact they have on those we serve. NATAL’s 20 years of experience and extensive research has shown that 10-15% of the Israeli population suffers from PTSD. In conflict affected areas, like Israel’s southern cities, that number rises to one-third of the adult population, and 70% of children who are suffering from symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Every new emergency has the potential to provoke acute anxiety and re-awaken post-traumatic stress.
The year began with a literal bang as tensions along Israel’s northern border with Syria and Lebanon once again reached a breaking point. As military forces exchanged fire across the border, residents of the Golan Heights and surrounding areas were reminded of the bleak reality of life with unpredictable sirens warning families to seek shelter.
As the weather began to warm, so too did the security situation along Israel’s southern border. Security incidents, including rocket fire, occurred well beyond Gaza and its periphery. Daily life was disrupted as public schools, transportation and community events were cancelled. Late March marked the one-year anniversary of the March of Return, a series of demonstrations, protests, and police/military response on the Gaza border and in cities in the West Bank.
Even central Israel was not spared the anxiety due to this southern unrest. On March 14, sirens blared for the first time in over four years as rockets were fired at Tel Aviv and neighboring cities. While no injuries or major damage were reported, locals opened and prepared emergency shelters, just in case. Less luckily, a home in a central town just north of Tel Aviv suffered a direct hit on March 25, completely destroying the house. Five people were lightly/moderately injured and several others were treated for shock.
With each of these incidents, NATAL adjusted its operation according to the relevant protocol based on the severity of the situation. As a result, the Helpline received and influx of inquiries from people seeking support during these difficult times.
Just as the concerned residents of Israel turn to NATAL in their hour of need, we too, turn to you for support this Passover. Please consider making a financial contribution to assist those coping with the daily complexities of terror and war, and keep them in your thoughts as we celebrate the upcoming holiday.
Donate now: https://www.afnatal.org/donate/
(Tax-deductible in the U.S.)