Middle East: December 2002 Archives

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.


This page is an archive of entries in the Middle East category from December 2002.

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