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Boxing connects young Israeli Arabs and Jews

Israeli Arab boys warm up prior to a fight during Israel's National Youth Boxing Championship in the Arab village of Kfar Yasif, northern Israel on June 28, 2012. Boxing provides a unique chance for young Arab and Jewish competitors to meet in the ring as equals, equipped with helmets and gloves, and play under the same set of rules.

Photos by Oded Bality text by Blake Sobczak / AP

Jews and Arabs have been fighting each other for decades, so boxing may seem like a strange way to build peace between the two — but that's what the Israel Boxing Association aims for.

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An Israeli boy warms up prior to a fight during Israel's National Youth Boxing Championship in the Arab village of Arabe, northern Israel on June 29, 2012.

A young Israeli Arab boxer wraps his hands as he prepare to fight in the Arab village of Arabe, northern Israel on June 29, 2012.

Israeli Arab boys warm up prior to Israel's National Youth Boxing Championship in the Arab village of Arabe, in northern Israel on June 29, 2012.

An Israeli coach talks to a young boxer prior to his fight during Israel's National Youth Boxing Championship in the Arab village of Kfar Yasif, in northern Israel on June 27, 2012.

Israeli Arab boys fight during Israel's National Youth Boxing Championship in the Arab village of Kfar Yasif, northern Israel on June 29, 2012.

A young Israeli Arab boxer cries after he lost a fight during Israel's National Youth Boxing Championship in Arabe, northern Israel on June 29, 2012.

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