A model for therapeutic interventions in emotional responses to enforced geographical relocation of populations in Israel. Academic Article uri icon


  • Background: The planned mandatory geographical relocation of the population inhabiting the Gush Katif settlements, planned to take place in July 2005, stands at the focus of public debate and has aroused virulent disagreements an ideological, political, national and security issues. Aims: In order to prepare for professional assistance in coping with possible emotional problems arising from the forced relocation and in order to create support systems for professional interventions on the personal and family levels, the national health administration is seeking to design an adequate inclusive program, based at least partly on lessons learned from the relocation of populations from Sinai peninsula (Yamit and Rafiah areas) in April of 1982. However, little has been reported in the literature which can aid in designing a suitable intervention, tailored for an event such as this. Based on an analysis of the differences between combat- and terror-related trauma, and the forthcoming forced relocation of the civilian population of an entire geographical area, we propose a specifically adapted approach to professional intervention in the possible emotional consequences of the events. The proposed model: The proposed principles are a mirror image of the accepted principles for combat reaction: distance from the arena as opposed to proximity, delayed intervention (after the acute phase) instead of immediacy, and expectation for actions related to adapting to a new existential reality rather than the expectation for speedy return to the arena. These principles seem to us far more suited to the demands of the complex situation ahead, in order to provide relief and assist in adaptation, and to prevent later complications of possible emotional sequelae.

publication date

  • January 1, 2005