Dozens gathered in the occupied West Bank to break the fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, but the food is kosher and Israelis are honouring a Palestinian guest.

At a Palestinian property near the Gush Etzion bloc of settlements, in the southern West Bank, an unlikely collection of guests shared a meal organised by the "Roots" initiative.

The iftar meal is a rare attempt at cross-community dialogue amid a spike in violence in the Palestinian territory, which has been occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War.

"(We're a) group of people that wants to end the situation of violence and the hatred between members of the two populations," said Khaled Abu Awad, the Palestinian partner in the initiative.

He has had two brothers killed in the conflict while numerous family members have been jailed by Israel.

Alaa, a 25-year-old Palestinian from Jerusalem, said he was attending for the first time and did not feel "very comfortable with the people here".

Among around 50 guests were an Israeli paratrooper in uniform, an extreme-right Jewish activist and left-wing Israelis.

"If they (Palestinians) find out later that I sat with an Israeli soldier at the same table and ate with him, then something dangerous could happen to me," said Alaa, who requested his surname not be published for security reasons.

Some three million Palestinians live in the West Bank alongside hundreds of thousands of Israelis residing in settlements considered illegal under international law.

- 'New discourse' -

The "Roots" initiative, known by its Hebrew name "Shorashim" or "Judur" in Arabic, was founded in 2014 to foster dialogue between the two sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The traditional Palestinian dishes have been prepared under rabbinical supervision, so that observant Jews who keep kosher dietary rules can enjoy the food.

Being honoured at the iftar is Mohammed, a 33-year-old from a nearby village who works in construction in Israel.

He recently rescued an Israeli couple in the West Bank when a group of Palestinians surrounded their car and pelted them with stones.

"I spoke with them in Hebrew, I told them to enter here (my house), I told them: 'You're safe and nobody can harm you'," he said, not giving his surname for security reasons.

Yaakov, a medic and the father of the man he helped, said he was attending a "Roots" event for the first time in order to thank the person who saved his son, who is a soldier.

"(I) think that meetings of this kind can contribute to changing the situation," said Yaacov, who gave only his first name to protect his son.

Shaul Judelman, one of the initiative's co-directors, recognises there is a large degree of "resistance" to such events which can be seen as a "betrayal".

Judelman called for a "new discourse on the conflict," adding that "99 percent of Palestinians are not attacking us".