War, and all other types of violence, impact strongly on people's mental health. For this reason, violence, as a contributing factor to mental health problems, is now firmly on the public health agenda world-wide, as noted in the World Health Organization's (WHO) authoritative 2003 World Report on Violence and Health. People who use violence against others, and politicians who allow this, expose the populations of their adversaries, and their own people, to the manifold consequences of violence. The challenge for mental health practitioners is to investigate the psychological and psychopathological impact of this, to devise types of action that ought to be used to counter it and to organize health services accordingly. The articles by Israeli and Palestinian mental health experts in this issue address those three factors.
It is our hope that the mental health professionals of the warring factions will do even more to encourage a peaceful solution to the conflict. In the words of Eyad Hallaq, we should, "...[encourge] cooperation and network building between different professions and professionals, especially in the city of Jerusalem, a city that should be a model of tolerance, peace and human integration..." The international umbrella provided by the WHO's Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence to this issue could provide further sustenance to construct bridges in the mental health domain.
This issue of the Palestine-Israel Journal is a concrete step towards bridging the gulf that separates two peoples. In documenting the professional challenges faced by mental health experts on both sides, one point clearly emerges - in an armed conflict, no one comes out psychologically unscathed. No one. There is no one the victim, everyone is a victim. Not all suffering leads to psychiatric disorder, as Professor Wessely rightly points out. But some of it does, and mental health services should be ready to treat and rehabilitate the sufferer of a trauma-related psychiatric disorder.
We are indebted to the editors of the journal for having given us a platform to express ourselves, to the WHO for providing the funds to publish this issue, and to the authors who responded positively to our invitation without reservation.

Dr Mahmud Sehwail, Ramallah
Dr Itzhak Levav, Jerusalem
Focus Section Coordinators for this issue