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Some 42 percent of Israeli children suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), of which 15 percent have a moderate to severe version of the syndrome, Dr. Avital Laufer of Tel Aviv University told the Knesset Committee on the Rights of Children yesterday.

The committee was discussing the effects of the terror attacks of the past 32 months on children. Laufer's findings were based on a study of some 3,000 children aged 13 to 15, from both sides of the Green Line. Some 70 percent of the children said that the terror attacks had had a direct impact on their lives, causing them to abandon or avoid certain activities.

Dr. Yonatan Sever, a Health Ministry psychiatrist, said no similar study has ever been carried out on young children, who are unable to fill out questionnaires, but there is reason to believe they had been similarly affected.