If you've spent any time watching the news recently, you'd doubt the possibility of Palestinians and Israelis being on the same page, let alone in the same room. But these families came together to agree on at least one thing: They want to stop seeing their loved ones killed.
Recently, the Parents Circle-Families Forum (PCFF) brought together Palestinians and Israelis to promote peace and show reconciliation is possible. The nonprofit group shot a video featuring people who have lost loved ones in the political and religious violence that has shattered their hometowns. In an effort to demonstrate their hardship, members of the group came together in the video above with a resounding message on repeat: "We do not want you here." The meaning is clear: They want no new members in this "club" of families aggrieved by violence.
"The PCFF has concluded that the process of reconciliation between nations is a prerequisite to achieving a sustainable peace," their website reads.
As of this morning, the wishes of the PCFF may seem a far cry from reality. Reuters has reported that the recent spark in violence, which is now entering its third week, has already claimed more than 600 lives -- many of whom are children. The danger and vitriol in the region has risen to such levels that thousands of residents are fleeing their homes while the UN probes alleged Israeli war crimes and Hamas continues to barrage Israel with missiles.
Still, it is encouraging to see that hope for peace in the region is present on both sides. Hopefully, the stories of these families can bring together opposing factions to find a non-violent solution to the conflict.
CORRECTION: This article initially stated that residents are fleeing Gaza; rather, residents of Gaza are being displaced, but cannot leave the Gaza Strip. A mischaracterization of the current conflict as "centuries-old" has also been removed.