This article traces the research trajectory of the Institute of Community and Public Health (ICPH) at Birzeit University, whose work focuses on life and health outcomes for Palestinians living in chronic warlike conditions under Israeli settler-colonial rule. Over decades of field-based work, ICPH researchers came to the realization that medicalized responses to trauma contributed to concealing the social and political meaning that Palestinians attribute to their collective experience. By adopting an approach that linked the biological/biomedical sphere to the political sphere through the concept of suffering, and exposing the sociopolitical conditions of life and the collective trauma inducing nature of Israeli military occupation and repression, ICPH's research has allowed for the simultaneous personalization of war and politicization of health. In addition to discussing some of the health problems identified by ongoing investigations, the article also touches on the ways in which institution building and research production are linked to the capacity of Palestinians to endure and resist violation in their struggle for justice.
This article summarizes a uniquely thorough study of the first generation of Palestinians to have lived the whole of their lives under occupation. Findings from group interviews and large, representative surveys of men and women from the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip in 2011 draw a complex portrait of day-to-day life both currently and historically, including: widespread political activism that they continue to prize; high levels of exposure to often demeaning political violence and restriction of movement; limited access to basic resources, low employment stability and poverty; high levels of social cohesion, but also of lack of safety, political instability, fear for the future, stress, and feeling broken. Most were not optimistic in 2011 about the peace process but remained, confident in their ability to manage what the future brings. The findings also show that each of the three territories has unique types and levels of challenges.