Social workers say they need help in providing treatment for residents of southern Israel after Operation Pillar of Defense, according to a letter sent to the finance and social affairs ministers on Sunday.

“Without additional manpower, we will have difficulty in helping to rehabilitate residents of the South after the war,” wrote Itzik Perry, head of the country’s social workers union.

During Israel’s eight-day military conflict with Hamas, Gaza-based terrorists fired some 1,500 rockets at southern Israel. Approximately a million Israelis live in the region, and many of them need help dealing with anxiety issues and post-traumatic stress, as well as assistance in obtaining various conflict-related benefits from the state, such as reimbursement for property damage caused by rockets.

According to the latest Knesset report on the issue, produced in 2010, there is a shortage of about 1,000 social workers in Israel.

The need for the additional manpower is immediate, according to Perry. Without it, he warned, social services will be unable to fulfill Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s directive to provide quick treatment for residents of the affected areas.