TOKYO - Violence may be escalating in Israel and
the Palestinian territories but children from both
sides found friendship on a Japanese soccer field
Tensions rose sharply back home after Israeli forces killed a top Hamas political leader on
Thursday in response to a suicide bombing in Jerusalem on Tuesday, prompting most major
Islamic groups to abandon a truce crucial for the road map peace plan.
Yet for 22 children - 11 from Israel and 11 from
Palestine - sport won over politics as they and
Japanese children struggled for control of
soccer balls in the steamy summer heat.
"It was fun and I feel very happy that we played
together," said Tzah Ben-Menechem, an 11- year-old Israeli boy.
Others, like 9-year-old compatriot Ryan Whbee,
had more complicated feelings.
"This is the first time that I meet them, I play
with them, it's not easy," he said. "But when
we play and meet each other, we began to feel