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Israel-Palestine group wins human rights prize

An organisation that brings together survivors of Israelis and Palestinians killed in the Arab-Israeli conflict has been awarded a Swiss human rights prize.

Parents Circle – Families Forum, which “strives to offer a breakthrough in people’s frame of mind”, will be recognised for its peace work by the Swiss section of the International Society for Human Rights (IGFM) at a ceremony on November 27.

“It is, as far as we know, a world precedent that bereaved families, victims from both sides, embark on a joint reconciliation mission where the conflict is still alive,” Parent Circle states on its website.

Consisting of several hundreds of families—half Israelis and half Palestinians—who have lost immediate loved ones, the forum has been working to unite those on either side of the conflict through shared pain and grief for 15 years. It operates Israel- and Palestine-based offices and is a non-profit group.

The Swiss branch of the IGFM said in a statement on Wednesday it would be creating a group called Swiss Friends of Parents Circle to help support the group’s work from afar. Similar groups exist in the United States, Britain and Germany.

IGFM has been awarding the prize since 1994 to recognise people and projects that support and work for peace and security. The Dalai Lama and Swiss Senator Dick Marty figure among some of the prize’s past recipients.

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