Since the beginning of second Intifada (October 2000), closure of palestinian territories has dramatically strangled palestinian economy.
Palestinians who worked in Israel or in the settlements (20%) have been replaced by Asian and African workmen. Because of closure of check-points inside Gaza strip, many Palestinians are unable to reach their job: they can work on average 3 days a week.
Unemployement reaches 52% and 72% of Gazans live under the poverty line.

This extreme poverty added to humiliations and oppression breed frustrations and aggressiveness.
Added to the political violence, there is social violence and also domestic violence. Men target their anger and fear towards women (wife, sisters,...) and children,
women towards children,
children between each other...

Besides, Palestinians feel betrayed by Israel's violation of Oslo Agreements (1993) and totally abandonned by the international community. They are victims of Israel's oppression and of international conspiracy of silence.

There can be no sane mental health in oppression. The whole society is devastated by layers of deep traumas.
Children are the main victims of this vicious circle of violence. 45% of the children in Gaza have witnessed the beating of their father. And due to the economic situation, the role of the father has been undermined; many can't fulfill their duty to protect and feed their family.

In Jabalia refugee camp we asked children what they want to be when they'll be grown-up. Almost all of them answered: "I want to be a martyr"... Terrorism seems to be the only possible answer to the State terror imposed by Israel.

texts: mirouille   -  pictures: E.B., N.K., R.B.    April 2002