The day before I arrived in Ramallah there was an Israeli Military incursion in the city. Undercover Israeli soldiers shot and killed one person and injured seven others. A woman in my office witnessed the shooting, which took place in the city center. The soldiers chased a group of boys from a pizza shop. They shot one in the ankles and then handcuffed and beat him. Then they shot him in the head. Apparently, he wasn’t even the one they were looking for.
At the Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel-Aviv, I watched security officers pick all of the women with head scarfs out of the immigration line one by one and lead them away. I tried to keep my focus on the ground and think happy thoughts. When I got close to the front of the line they opened up the kiosks usually reserved for Israeli passport holders because their lines were empty. I walked up to a kiosk where the woman behind the glass looked like she was napping on the job. I asked her not to stamp my passport and told her I was here to visit family.
I’d gotten advice from everyone on what to say and what not to say at the airport. There was a clear consensus that if I mentioned my plans to go to Palestine, I would be interrogated, detained, searched and possibly turned away.
But with my list of names and addresses in Israel, I made it past security without incident.
I took a shuttle from Ben Gurion to Jerusalem but the driver refused to drop me at the check point because, as he said, “filthy Arabs are there.”
Posted By Eliza Bates
Posted Jun 3rd, 2007