Monday, 22 June 2009

Back in Jersualem

This is the fastest I've ever made it through Israeli security. Face freshly-shaven. Shirt, tucked in. Papers all in order. I sat for only ten minutes, they called me into the security office next to the immigration window. They welcomed me back, said they knew I'd been there many times before as a journalist, and said they wanted to get me through as fast as possible. They and asked a few simple questions.
What are you here for?
Reporting on the reconstruction in Gaza.
With who?
Who's your contact in Gaza?

That was it. Gave them some phone numbers, and walked out - even finding my luggage still by the carousel - to meet Dori in the cafe with green chairs (we always meet in the cafe with green chairs. Although this time I went to the wrong cafe. Apparently all the cafes here have green chairs.)

I haven't seen Dori in a few years. What's new? He finally finished renovating his house. He's a grandfather - his daughter has a one year old she called Ariel, after the Little Mermaid (not Sharon). He's started driving medical school exams between the students and professors for money, apparently it pays quite well. They trust him not to look at the questions. He asks where I'm going and I tell him West Bank for a week, then Gaza.

"Oh, Gaza. Make sure you wear PRESS on your back all the time, one of our snipers might see you and know you're not from Gaza and shoot you."

I'm exhausted, having had too much coffee trying to stay awake. It's not working. So I'll give in and go to sleep...

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