INTERNATIONAL medical aid charity, Medicin sans Frontieres, has seen five times more mental health patients in Hebron than usual since the start of October.
The charity, is currently working in the H2 area of the West Bank city, which has a heavy military presence.
Marcos Matias Moyano, MSF psychologist in Hebron. said that restriction of movement, recurring night raids, home demolitions, settler harassment and attacks, and the detention or killing of relatives had left the Palestinian community deeply scarred.
He said: “Our patients are suffering from fear, anxiety, psychosomatic complaints, anger, frustration, and hopelessness.
“Children often suffer from bedwetting; they are scared to leave their home and to go to school, they lack the energy to study and cannot concentrate.”
He added: “Many adults are facing sleeping and eating problems, crying, fear and despair.
“Although this is a protracted conflict, the level of acute stress we have seen among our patients in the past weeks is concerning.
“It will have a serious impact on people’s ability to cope”.
Since the start of October, MSF has offered mental health and psycho social services to around 521 people, with 40 group psycho-educations sessions at community level and 95 psychological first aid services.
Tensions have spiralled throughout recent weeks in Hebron, with tensions rising between Palestinian families living in H2, located in the old part of the city, and the nearby Israeli settlers.