Palestinians, settlers discuss situation in Hebron

12:00 May 9 2013 Gush Etzion block

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Young Palestinians and Israeli settlers have held a series of meetings to discuss possible coexistence in Hebron in the southern West Bank, Israel's Ynet news site reported Thursday.

A short video was added to a report which highlighted that most of the Palestinian participants refused to reveal their identities of appear on camera.

Such events are rare in the occupied territories. Palestinians refer to meetings with settlers as “normalization,” a taboo for the majority.

According to the report, young Palestinian men from Hebron in the southern West Bank have been participating in meetings with Jewish settlers from Efrat settlement in Gush Etzion bloc south of Bethlehem.

“For a short hour, two completely different worlds would meet here. Young Palestinian men from Hebron and Jewish Yeshiva students from Efrat settlement have been involved in monthly meetings.

“However, to document these meetings was not an easy job as the participants at the beginning refused to let us take photos of them, and asked us blur their faces because revealing their identities may create serious problems within their societies,” the report said.

“The Palestinians have enough reasons to fear joining such meetings with settlers because such dialogue is illegal in the eyes of their society. If they are stigmatized as collaborators, they will be in real danger,” the report quoted chair of the Jewish organization of religious dialogue Yehuda Stolov as saying.
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