"This for me is one of the most difficult letters I will ever have to write. My name is Robi Damelin, I am the mother of David who was killed by your son. I know he did not kill David because he was David, if he had known him he could never have done such a thing. David was 28 years old, he was a student at Tel Aviv University doing his masters in the philosophy of education. David was part of the peace movement and did not want to serve in the occupied territories. He had compassion for all people and understood the suffering of the Palestinians. He treated all around him with dignity. David was part of the movement of the officers who did not want to serve in the occupied territories, but nevertheless for many reasons he went to serve when he was called up for reserve duty.
What makes our children do what they do, they do not understand the pain they are causing your son by now having to be in jail for many years and mine who I will never be able to hold or see again or see him married, or have a grandchild from. I cannot describe to you the pain I feel since his death and the pain of his brother and girlfriend, and all who knew and loved him.
I understand that your son is considered a hero by many within the Palestinian people. He is considered to be a freedom fighter, fighting for justice and for an independent, viable Palestinian state, but I also feel that if he understood that taking the life of another is not the way and that if he understood the consequences of his act, he could see that a nonviolent solution is the only way for both nations to live together in peace... Our lives as two nations are so intertwined, each of us will have to give up on our dreams for the future of the children who are our responsibility... I do not know what your reaction will be, it is a risk for me, but I believe that you will understand, as it comes from the most honest place within me. I hope that you will show the letter to your son, and that maybe in the future we can meet."
Hamad recently responded to this letter in a very negative and militant manner, saying that violence is the only way to end the occupation and that he will continue on this path until Palestine is liberated. He refused to address Damelin directly, and of course, refused to meet her, because he "cannot meet our land's occupier on the same land". You can read the response in Hebrew here. The Ma'an News Agency probably has the original letter in Arabic. I couldn't find an English version.
Well, at least one good thing came out of all this: we now know Ta'er Hamad shouldn't be included in any prisoner swap deals, since he hasn't changed his mind about violence.