Personal stories

Personal stories

The first meetings between Palestinians and Israelis, that eventually led to the establishment of the “Combatants for Peace” movement, centered around the telling of participants’ personal stories. It began with the spontaneous need to learn about the other side and developed into a coherent perception that the way to peace is through a deep recognition of the humanity of the other side. Our personal story, Palestinians and Israelis, is the story of life here, a story of the violence to which we were partners or witnesses but, equally, a story of choosing a path of non-violence and partnership.

Suliman al-Khatib


Growing up, my family was badly impacted by the ongoing conflict; there was so much suffering all around me. My heart cried out for my people, and I desperately wanted to help my family and my community. I was determined […]

Oren Kalisman

Tel Aviv

Like my brothers and parents, at aged 18 I went into the army. I joined a special unit in the paratroopers, and after two years became an officer. At the start of the Second Intifada I was called to the […]

Nour Shehadah


The same day that I opened an office for peace, I was arrested by the Israeli army again, just as I was leaving to go on an outing with my wife and children. They tied me up, blindfold and interrogated […]

Mohamed Owedah


Mohamed Owedah, a social worker, was born in the village of Silwan in East Jerusalem, Al Quds. Mohamad’s village is the biggest village in Palestine, but it is also a very popular village amongst the settlers due to its proximity […]

Maya Katz

Tel-Aviv Maya’s grandparents left Poland and Germany before the Second World War, in order to help build the new state of Israel. The kibbutz where Maya grew up, “Emek Ha Yarden”, was built upon land of an abandoned Arab village.

Maia Hascal

Tel Aviv

As a social worker in the second Lebanon war, Maia had close contact with residents in their shelters as well as with South Lebanon Army members who came into Israel. She saw them all. She also saw the various petitions […]

Jamel Mizaro


The struggle for the liberation of the Palestinian people has always been a central theme in Jamel’s life. From the moment he became aware of the Israel-Palestine conflict, he took part in the struggle. He knew that the struggle for […]

Hillel Bardin


My father was born in 1898 in Ukraine. As a child he lived through terrible pogroms in which Jews were killed and attacked, without the police giving any protection. This, and his knowledge of Jewish history, convinced him that Jews […]

Chen Alon

Tel Aviv

Chen Alon is a theater director, facilitator and lecturer at Tel Aviv University. Chen served for four years in the Israeli army and then for 11 years as an operations officer in the reserves. Later, he became a refusnik and […]

Ben Yeger

England Ben Yeger served in the Nachal Unit of the Israeli Army between 1983 and 1986 during the first Lebanon War. He is now the UK Rep of Combatants for Peace and has been a member in the movement since 2008.

Bassam Aramin

Anata, East Jerusalem Bassam Aramin became involved in the Palestinian struggle as a boy growing up in the ancient city of Hebron. At 17, he was caught planning an attack on Israeli troops, and spent seven years in army prison.

Avner Wishnitzer


Avner Wishnitzer was born on Kibbutz Schiller near Rehovot. Where he grew up, serving in the army was considered not only a patriotic duty but also a personal test. As his conscription date approached, Avner chose to serve in the […]

Avner Horowitz

Tel-Aviv It was only when participating the Israeli-Palestinian memorial day for the first time that Avner was relieved. “I could breathe again” so he described the sensation and consciousness that things can be different.

Assaf Yacobovitz


Assaf is a clinical therapist. He was born, raised and currently resides in Tel-Aviv. His parents grew up in Tel Aviv, after their parents fled Poland during WWII. The son of a well educated, middle-class family in a big city […]

Ahmed Helou


Ahmed was born in Jericho. At the age of 15, Ahmed joined the local Hamas movement. He raised Palestinian flags and threw stones at soldiers. In 1992 Ahmed was sentenced to seven months in Israeli army prison as a political […]