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Israel allocates $2.7 million to support young trauma survivors of Oct 7 Hamas attack

Bereaved families, friends and Israeli soldiers visit the site of the Nova music festival massacre, on Memorial Day, May 13, 2024. (Photo: Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

Israel's chief accountant approved a plan last week to allocate NIS 10 million ($2.7 million) to organizations supporting young people who survived trauma from the Oct. 7 terror attack.

The unprecedented atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7 brought a level of trauma in Israel never faced before, creating unique needs for the young survivors, according to the approval plan.

The approval plan is aimed at providing treatment for around 10,000 young people, according to the Welfare Ministry, which anticipates that about 3,000 will make use of the programs provided. Public nonprofit organizations and companies that serve the public interest will now be able to submit requests for funding to provide services for these young survivors.

The types of wounds suffered as a result of the "Black Shabbat" on Oct. 7 – including their treatment – are not documented in professional literature, therefore, new services must be developed to address the various levels of trauma, including initiatives to help strengthen personal resilience, community connection and reintegration in education and the workforce.

Israel’s Welfare and Social Affairs Ministry requested approval to work with the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi) to provide solutions through their existing bodies and with other non-profits and organizations.

The Jerusalem Post published a report in February revealing the multi-level trauma that Israelis have

“We have a multi-layered trauma in Israel right now. There are multiple layers and multiple carriers of trauma. We have so many people and so many levels carrying aspects in such a small country. This is unique and unprecedented,” said Prof. Danny Horesh, head of the Clinical Psychology Program and head of the Trauma and Stress Research Lab at Bar-Ilan University.

Horesh, who published the report, described the direct trauma that thousands of Israelis experienced on and immediately after Oct. 7, as well as the ongoing war on multiple fronts as a large number of Israeli citizens from the south and the north are displaced from their homes.

In addition, Israelis have suffered the separation of families with soldiers in active and reserve duty, as well as bereaved families mourning the loss of IDF soldiers and the devastating circumstances surrounding the Israeli hostages, who have been held captive by Hamas and allied Palestinian terrorists for more than 222 days.

Due to Israel’s small geographical size and the tight-knit aspect of society, everyone knows someone who has been affected by the trauma. As a result, many Israelis are experiencing some form of PTSD symptoms and significant grief.

“We are a grieving society since October 7,” Horesh said. “Having this combination is relatively unique. There is a lot of sadness; but a lot of the grief and sadness is relatable to violent events. As time unfolds, we will see more examples of this.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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