After a year of meeting in secret, 120 former Israel Defense Forces combat soldiers and Palestinian militants unveiled a unique peace group on Monday, hopeful their union will spur dialogue and end bloodshed.I'd like to read more about the Palestinians involved in this, particularly their ideological affiliations. Not that this group, like the Geneva Initiative and others, is likely to make any difference.
Formation of the "Combatants for Peace" is a rare sign of comradeship at a time when separation increasingly characterizes relations between Israelis and Palestinians.
On Sunday, Israel said it was cutting direct contacts with the new Hamas-led Palestinian government. The Islamic militant group is sworn to destroy Israel.
But in a school yard in the Palestinian town of Anata north of Jerusalem, former enemies exchanged handshakes and hugs as they inaugurated what they called the first joint group of its type.
"This is the breakthrough event, to say to the world we are here," Avichay Sharon, 24, a former IDF soldier told Reuters. "We don't want to look at each other through weapon sights, we want to see each other as human."
Added Palestinian Osama Abu Karsh, 35, jailed for three years by Israel for attacking troops with firebombs: "Both our sides have been fighting, but we want to sit at the same table. We hope we can achieve something."