In March and April 1983, an epidemic of "mysterious gas poisoning"
occurred in the Jordan West Bank region, affecting more than 900 persons,
predominantly schoolgirls. That both Arabs and Israelis believed there was
an etiologic poisonous substance reflected their longstanding conflict.
Israeli newspaper reports, opinions by Arab and Israeli physicians, and the
emotional climate in Djenin Hospital contributed to the generation and
propagation of this belief. The author discusses the specific difficulties
he met in investigating the outbreak.