Palestinian and Israeli kids play soccer match to mark 100th anniversary of 'Christmas truce'

A hundred years ago troops from both sides laid down their arms in an unofficial Christmas Truce. Legend grew that the opposing troops played football in no-man's zone.

By REUTERS
December 16, 2014 12:00
1 minute read.

Palestinian and Israeli kids play soccer match to mark 100th anniversary of 'Christmas truce'

Palestinian and Israeli kids play soccer match to mark 100th anniversary of 'Christmas truce'

Palestinian and Israeli children played a game of football on Monday in Haifa to mark the centenary of the legendary football match between the German and Allied troops on the Western Front during the Christmas Truce of 1914.

A hundred years ago troops from both sides laid down their arms in an unofficial Christmas Truce. Legend grew that the opposing troops played football in no-man's zone. It's a legend that history cannot verify - but one which remains a powerful symbol of peace.

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The event in Haifa was hosted by the British diplomatic mission.

"You can see behind me, not just young kids enjoying themselves sharing football but also something very special happening, which is kids from different communities that do not normally get to talk to each other, that do not normally get to play together. Building links, building friendships through the medium of football and I can not think of a better way of commemorating the Christmas truce a hundred years ago than doing this today," said the British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould.

Israeli Arab sports anchor Zuhair Bahloul said the match was a 'value activity' in times of escalation of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"Recently, we have a very dangerous gap between the both population, the Arab and the Jews, and I think if we want to look for some of the optimistic position, I think, the co-existence between the Arab and the Jewish kids, it is a value activity, and I am feeling so proud about that, of course," said Zuhair Bahloul.

The 'Football Remembrance' matches marking the 100th anniversary of the First World War Christmas truce are hosted by the British diplomats in various countries around the world including Israel, Brazil, Russia, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Cambodia and many others.


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