Ynet news reports:
While Israel and the Palestinian Authority participate in a diplomatic battle as September looms ever nearer, 18 Palestinian children from the Dheisheh Refugee Camp near Bethlehem arrived in Israel on Monday to take part in the “living color” summer camp together with children from Arab villages and cities in Israel.
The visitors have special “pedigree” – most of them are the children of security prisoners who were members of terrorist organizations, some of whom were even accused of attempting to kidnap soldiers.
The group behind the initiative is the Jewish-Arab institute at Beit Berl. The Yanbua association from the Reineh village near Nazareth is responsible for the camp’s activities, which end on Friday. The camp also welcomed orphans from the Dheisheh Refugee Camp.
“The main purpose of the visit is to promote co-existence and the relationship between Palestinian children and Israeli-Arab children,” explains Farouk Amrour, chairman of the Jewish-Arab institute at Beit Berl.
Yet in spite of the good intentions, it is only too evident the road to stronger relations is long and winding as most of the children have trouble forgetting the past.
One of the participants, a 12-year-old girl whose father was charged with attempted kidnapping of an Israeli soldier said angrily: “My father had a very difficult life and I can’t forget that – vengeance is the right way.”
The full story is here.