Empathy without borders: Israelis crowdfund to help Palestinians

An Israeli-led crowdfunding campaign has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Palestinian residents of a West Bank town that was set ablaze by radical Jewish settlers, the organizer of the drive said Thursday.

Some 12,000 Israelis donated nearly 1.7 million shekels ($465,000 US dollars) since the campaign was launched this week. The fundraising effort was a rare instance of cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians at a time when tensions have been surging between the sides over spiraling violence.

As the Monitor reported earlier this week

Before the ink dried Sunday on the agreement reached during the highest-level direct Israeli-Palestinian talks in years, violence burned in the West Bank – killings, revenge attacks, the torching of homes and cars.  

It was a vivid reminder for many of the urgent need for de-escalation and the immediate challenges facing this rare diplomacy, but also of the questionable ability of Israeli and Palestinian leaders to calm or even control the situation on the ground.

Scores of Israeli settlers went on a violent rampage in the northern West Bank town of Hawara late on Sunday, setting dozens of cars and homes on fire after two settlers were killed by a Palestinian gunman there earlier in the day. One Palestinian was killed by Israeli fire during the incident, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

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