Originally posted December 17, 2000
5:45 a.m. and I'm at the bus stop at the settlement's entrance. At the gate and guardhouse 6 a.m. means duty change.
The Sun hasn't risen and I wish I hadn't either. The guards seem a bit punchy at this point and they've got the radio playing. Since there's no other sound anywhere close by, whispers seem noisey. The guards are singing loudly and terribly off key and every time one of their voices' crack I look up from the book I'm reading by lamplight and chuckle.
At 5:55 a.m. a pair of soldiers come walking down from their barracks, helmets swinging in hand, M-16 slung across their back and wearing a flak jacket. When they reach the guardhouse, the night boys step out, unload their own machine guns and aim their weapons to the lightening sky. Instead of singing I hear the click-click-click of someone pulling the trigger of an unloaded weapon.
The two weary boys trudge uphill and pass me on the way to their beds. I wish I were in my own bed.
Eventually someone stops and I get in, and I'm on my way to Jerusalem. We drive down the hill where the settlement tops.
Did you know that when a tire burns, the remains look like black licorice ropes? They leave a stain on the asphalt.
A few days before, IDF soldiers bulldozed an olive grove that Arabs were sniping from. The trees lay broken and dying on the edges. I felt sorry for the trees. Not for the Arabs' loss of income.
A lot of Arab houses are enclosed with a high wall and gate. Today, one of those houses had it's wall and gate torn down. It sits right on the road and they were probably sniping from there since they didn't have tree-cover anymore.