More than half Gaza's residents suffer mental health issues: health ministry
The Hamas-run health ministry announced on Tuesday that more than half of the residents of the Gaza Strip suffer from psychological problems as a result of the blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt for more than a decade.
Speaking to The New Arab, Jamil Suleiman Ali, the director general of mental health in the ministry said that "for more than 15 years, the residents suffer deteriorating living and economic conditions from the 'illegal' Israeli violence against the Strip".
According to the official, between 50 to 60 per cent of the residents of Gaza were subjected to Israeli violence, which impacted their mental health.
"There are common symptoms that appear in patients, such as psychological pressure and depression, nervousness, social violence, introversion and other problems," Ali explained.
However, the official noted that Gaza does not have sufficient specialised centres to treat people suffering from mental health issues.
"The injury is not limited to the body, but there are psychological injuries that have a negative impact that could be worse than the physical wound," he stressed.
Since 2007, Israel has been imposing a tightened blockade on the coastal enclave, home to more than 2.3 million people.
Moreover, it launched four-large scale military campaigns against the residents, killing thousands of people and wounding dozens of others.
As a result, the Gazans suffer from hard-living conditions as the unemployment rate has reached 54 per cent, while about 85 per cent live under the poverty line.