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Terrorism reports: The tip of the iceberg

Eytan Ellenberg, MD, MPH, PhD, Mark Taragin, MD, MPH, Zvia Bar-On, MD, MHA, Osnat Cohen, SW, Ishay Ostfeld, MD, MHA


Importance: Medical impact of terror is a public health issue as the threat is growing all over the world.

Objective: Our objective was to compare the number of injured and incidents in the three different databases and reports [Global Terrorism Database (GTD), Israeli Security Agency (ISA) and National Insurance Institute (NII)] in Israel.

Design: Retrospective study.

Setting: Analyses of three different databases (GTD, ISA and NII) and basic comparison.

Main Outcome(s) and Measure(s): The victims reimbursed for medical expenses are the largest population. The number of injured as described by GTD and ISA database are less important. The 2010-2013 years are marked by more incidents recognized in Israel vs GTD assessment (except in 2014).

Conclusions and Relevance: The number of victims being reimbursed for medical and mental health services is radically different from the GTD and the ISA reports. Public Health specialists should be advised of this phenomenon to deliver their right approach (including mental health) to growing threat and develop new definition of victim of terror.


terrorism, war, disaster, databases, acute stress reaction

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