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Fighters Experience Peace on Ammunition Hill in Jordan
Michael Ireland : Jul 9, 2012 : ASSIST News Service
"The entire visit took place in an atmosphere of mutual respect, honor and reconciliation. Ever since I was a child I considered the Jordanian army professional and fair in the way they treated our prisoners of war. They were not savages." -Nachum Baruchi
(Jerusalem, Israel)—Nearly 18 years have passed since Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jordan's King Hussein signed the Jordan Valley peace agreement, normalizing relations between Israel and Jordan.
But even the most obsessive observers of Israeli-Jordanian ties find it hard to remember an encounter as extraordinary and emotional as the one that took place in Jerusalem mid-June, away from the limelight, between veterans of the Six Day War from both sides, says Elhanan Miller writing for the Times of Israel. (Photo: Wikipedia)
According to Miller's article, a group of 20 veterans, mostly-high ranking Jordanian and Israeli retired officers, met in Jerusalem June 18 and 19, and toured the sites of battles that pitted them against each other nearly half a century ago. "We once looked at each other through the barrels of guns," said one man. "Now we shook hands and exchanged war stories.
The Times of Israel says the meeting was organized by the Israeli Economic Cooperation Foundation (ECF) and Jordan's Amman Center for Peace and Development (ACPD), and funded by the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation. The Israeli veterans, unsentimental warriors in their seventies and eighties, told The Times of Israel they were deeply moved by the encounter with the Jordanians.
"This is the first time such an event took place in Israel," said Colonel (res.) Yossi Langotsky, who served as company commander in the Jerusalem Reconnaissance Unit when the 1967 war broke out. "It wasn't easy. I personally killed Jordanian soldiers at close range."
Participants said the highlight of the event was a memorial service held at Ammunition Hill, the site of one of the fiercest battles. Thirty-six Israeli soldiers and 71 Jordanians lost their lives on Ammunition Hill and the adjacent police academy on June 6, 1967.
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