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Bloody PA and Arab TV broadcasts hurt Palestinian children's "motivation to live"

Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook  |
According to Palestinian Authority psychologists, Palestinian children living nowhere near Gaza have suffered psychological damage from watching PA and other Arab satellite TV during the Gaza war. A report in the official PA daily says that this experience "impacts on the children's future and their motivation to live."
Palestinian and Arab satellite television stations broadcast hundreds of images of dead and mutilated bodies, including those of children, for many hours a day during the war. West Bank families, including children, typically spent hours a day watching these broadcasts, and counselors are already observing severe stress and psychological problems among these children.
Psychology lecturer Bihan Al-Qamiri says treatment for these problems includes keeping children away from such images.
Perhaps in response to this internal criticism, PA TV has returned to its normal broadcast schedule. The dominant theme of the current broadcasts is the desire for Palestinian unity.
The following is the text from the official Palestinian Authority daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida:
"I feel fear, worry and sometimes I cry. I wake up many times from dreams with images of Shahids (Martyrs) and their body parts." Those are the words of a 13 year-old boy named Taleb Ziyad from the Al-Jilazun refugee camp near Ramallah [West Bank]...
[Children] in the West Bank have complained because of the broadcasts of those scenes and pictures on the TV screens and the satellite stations. It results in cases of psychological problems, which impact on the children's future and their motivation to live...
Psychology lecturer at Bir Zeit University, Bihan Al-Qamiri ... added that the psychological advisor should observe the children's condition, advise them psychologically, talk to them, and advise the family to keep the children away from these scenes [on TV] and find children's programs for them, and make them participate in activities like sports and music...
Authoritative studies emphasize the great responsibility of the media, and especially the visual media, for reducing the psychological impact on children, by taking into account the age of the viewers watching."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 22, 2009]