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Title: Structural violence and sources of resistance among Palestinian children living under military occupation and political oppression
Authors: Veronese, Guido 
Cavazzoni, Federica 
Russo, Sabrina 
Ayoub, Haneen 
Keywords: Children – Crimes against - Palestine;Arab-Israeli conflict - Psychological aspects - Palestine;Children and war - Psychological aspects - Palestine
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Journal of International and Intercultural Communication
Abstract: The ongoing occupation in Palestine involves structural colonial oppression over the native population, depriving Palestinians of fundamental human rights. The set of political, social, economic, and environmental factors that result from the occupation has a lasting direct and indirect effect on the well-being of the children exposed to systematic violence. In this study, we explored the effect of systematic violence and military oppression in a group of 22 school-aged youths (M = 12.2; SD = 2.69, 45.5% girls) living in the West Bank. We identified factors associated with children’s maladjustment to potentially traumatic environments and survival skills following a socio-ecological lens. Data were collected through biographical participative interviews. The TCA identified six themes: the pervasiveness of the Israeli violence; the unexpected costs of the pandemic; victims and perpetrators of intra-community violence; everyday acts of happiness (or normalcy); support from families, peers, and community; subverting negative situations, and fighting back. Children emerged as continuously engaged in adjustment and readjustment to inhuman living conditions, making normal what is abnormal in their development. The study draws attention to the political antecedent and determinants of the Palestinian children’s actions and reactions to violence, highlighting the impossibility of exploring children’s growth while avoiding political and human rights implications.
DOI: 10.1080/17513057.2022.2102204
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