Kids in the Hell

The Conflict's Forgotten Victims

Yotam addressed his letter "To a Palestinian child."

"I am giving you these things because I don't think you are as bad as some people in Israel believe you are. I hope that someday there will be peace between our two peoples," he wrote.

Itamar, 14, had future plans. "I love football and lately I have been forming my political views," his letter said. "I hope that one day when you have a country and I have a country in peace, we can play football together. I hope you see from this letter that we are not all bad."

Tamar was matter-of-fact: "My name is Tamar and I want to tell you a bit about myself. I am eight years old in the second grade. I have a mom, a dad, a brother and a sister. I really want peace but I think that Arafat and Sharon are not sincere. They are men of war and that is why we don't have peace. I want to be friends and that's why I told you about myself. I wish you happiness, health and fitness."

"The packages are still pouring in," Yarden said. "A lot of the kids had never met an Arab child and it really excited them that they might be in touch with kids on the other side. A lot of the kids put their telephone numbers in the letters."

Azizi Fawzi, 33, works at the Tul Karem refugee camp and distributed the first batch of packages.

"The kids felt very happy not just for the gifts but because Israeli children are remembering them in this situation," he said by telephone from the West Bank.

Azizi has a huge bundle of responses from refugee children but doesn't know when he will be able to pass them along. Right now it is just too dangerous.

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