Israel and Palestine: Personal stories from Combatants for Peace, part one

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Can Israelis and Palestinians work together for peace? Four people who believe they can will be at the Frontline Club on 28 July to describe their journeys from division and violence towards cooperation and understanding.

Four  members of Combatants for Peace will be discussing how, after years of violence they decided to put down their guns and fight together for peace. CfP was formed by Israelis and Palestinians, who "After brandishing weapons for so many years, and having seen one another only through weapon sights, we have decided to put down our guns, and to fight for peace."

To see full details of the event and to book please see here. But in the meantime we’ll be publishing four exclusive personal stories from each of them. Keep checking the Forum blog for the rest in this series…

My name is Muneer Hamdan, married and have 2 children, studied till the twelfth grade, from Um-Elfahim Originally…After my family left our home in Um- Elfahem to Al-Faraa camp, I was born in the camp then moved to Tulkarm camp and I was brought there and lived my childhood between the narrow roads of the camp…i studied in the schools of the  UNRWA. I was not different from the other children who live in the camp, we used to play with simple things…and then I started to realize the issue of Palestine and Jerusalem…when I was seventeen years old I was arrested by the Israeli Authority that time I started working with Fatah…during that time I was arrested many times…and the last time  was life sentence…and was released as a result for Oslo…Then I lived normal life then  started working with peace organizations and   understand that violence just brings violence …now I am a member of Combatants for Peace…

My name is Idan Meir. In 1995, at the age of 18, I joined the Navy Commando Unit of the IDF. On the night of September 4th 1997, after a tragic incident in Lebanon, my militant perspective changed completely. Ten years later, after a long inner journey, I joined CFP. Today I live in Tel Aviv and work as a theatre writer, director and high school teacher. I devote a great deal of my time and energy to promote conflict resolution and reconciliation by theater dialogue action groups, and to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through non-violent action.

Pic credit: Rusty Stewart, via Flickr, some rights reserved