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Israel’s Soldiers Suffer from Intifada Syndrome

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"According to the Israeli newspaper, Ma’ariv, the scope of the phenomenon is frightening .."

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM - Dozens of Israeli occupation soldiers who have killed Palestinian civilians while serving in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are reportedly suffering from what is increasingly described as “the intifada syndrome.â€

According to the Israeli media, many of the soldiers who have been discharged from army service are now facing “personal crises†stemming from their respective “harsh†experiences in the West Bank and Gaza.

According to the Israeli newspaper, Ma’ariv, the scope of the phenomenon is frightening as dozens of these soldiers are seeking an escape from their problems by coming under the influence of drugs, including some instances of heroine and cocaine.

Ma’ariv reported on 15 November that some soldiers tried to

commit suicide or hurt themselves.

The right-wing newspaper quoted one soldier who served in an undercover unit as saying that “we didn’t know that what we did would haunt us in the future.â€

“We went into houses, we clashed with the Palestinians, we killed civilians, some of whom were innocent. You do the job and you don’t think it’s going to hurt you in the future. You’re told that that’s the task. Today I regret some of the things I did, and today, I stay at home banging my head against the wall, I don’t have a job and no one talks to me.â€

A former paratrooper who has been under psychological treatment for the past three months related the following:

“ We’d go into houses. We’d see children and old people crying. We shot their television sets. At first you don’t pity, you do the job. But when you sit at home later you begin to understand that you’ve done things that have hurt you emotionally.â€

The Hebrew newspaper pointed out that many of the soldiers concerned became addicted to hard drugs.

“An officer from an elite unit, who fought against the Palestinians for two years, went to Thailand. He tried to escape what had happened to him in the territories, was unsuccessful and fell into drugs. He returned to Israel and moved on to harder drugs, to cocaine. He was treated with his parents by his side. A few days later, they found him dead. No one knows to this day from what.â€

The Israeli army is aware of the phenomenon, but has a hard time treating it.

“We can’t monitor this phenomenon. We can’t treat every combatant who gets caught up in drugs and emotional distress,†said an army spokesperson.

-IAP News (iap.org). Redistributed via Press International News Agency (PINA).


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