A happy story from Palestine

Palestinian-Israeli hotline melts hate

Sammy Waed never thought he would become friends with an Israeli soldier, especially one who had occupied his hometown of Ramallah.

But a month ago, the 20-year-old called a new hotline and ended up speaking to Arik, a 23-year-old from Tel Aviv.

"Arik told me how much he hated his army service, because he was in the middle of a civilian population, policing children and causing harm to innocent people," Waed said.

"Before, I thought Israelis didn't care at all when innocent Palestinians suffer and are killed," he said. "But now I know they do care. And now I have hope that there can be peace."

Waed is just one of thousands of Israelis and Palestinians who are using the Hello Shalom-Hello Salaam hotline, a phone service that enables Palestinians and Israelis to reach out across the divide of hate, violence and mistrust that characterizes the two worlds.


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Published on December 8, 2002 1:12 PM.

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