6. Dajani,K., Carel,R. Neighbors and Enemies: Lessons to Be Learned from the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Regarding Cooperation in Public Health. Croatian Medical Journal 2002; 43,2: 138-140.
This paper aims to demonstrate the example of recent Palestinian-Israeli collaborative projects, how sustainable cooperation can be achieved despite unfavorable political atmosphere and continuing violent disputes. Palestinian and Israeli participants of the collaborative projects declared that their attitude and belief in coexistence was positively changed as a result of their experience in cooperative work. Their main motivations were a desire to contribute to the resolution of the conflict and to improve professional skills. The experience in Israeli-Palestinian conflict showed that the collaborative projects of higher chance of success and sustainability should address issues of high priority to the concerned parties, lead to demonstrable benefits in the immediate future, and preferably be organized by nongovernmental organizations. Also, to secure long-term success of collaborative projects, parity and symmetry should be maintained, as well as equal division of work and responsibility between the partners. Collaboration in public health field is first to be (re)established in conflict areas to alleviate suffering, minimize future health risks, and prevent further health deterioration. Thereby, public health can serve as a bridge to peace in areas of unrest or war.