Ariel, West Bank — On a sprawling hill top in this West Bank town Tuesday, a commitment made by Israel’s leader in distant Annapolis this week seemed likely to take one of two possible paths, with the outlines of each already apparent.
“Look up there. My son lives in that container,” gestured Arik Yeffet. “There are leaks in the winter, and the heating is insufficient. He deserves to have a spot of his own. Did we commit a crime?”
Jericho, West Bank — Dressed in freshly pressed uniforms, officers stroll through the new school toting briefcases stuffed with course packs for classes in information technology and Hebrew.
Wake-up is at 5 a.m., and the daily schedule includes lineups, weight training and lectures. It is a place of order, discipline and timetables — concepts not usually associated with the Palestinian security forces.
Netiv Ha’asara, Israel — Israel’s dilemma over using fuel and gas supplies to punish Gazans for rocket fire came into sharp focus this week when a salvo of five mortar shells slammed down on this farming cooperative near the Gaza border.
Despite a government decision to impose the controversial sanctions to deter Palestinian militants from similar attacks in the future, experts and locals doubted whether cutting electricity in Gaza would contain the cross-border strikes.
Tel Aviv — The iconic but crumbling Bauhaus building just off the Ayalon freeway in south Tel Aviv resembles the bridge of a ship, a tribute to the Jewish immigrants who reached pre-state Israel in boats.
In the last three months, an abandoned basement pub and a construction site at the same building have become a makeshift absorption center for dozens of illegal African migrants and an embodiment of Israel’s most sensitive immigration dilemmas as the state nears its 60th anniversary.
Camp Ziouani, Golan Heights — It started last spring when grazing sheep crossed to the Israeli side of the invisible Golan Heights disengagement border, bringing Syrian herdsman face to face with IDF soldiers on heightened alert after the Lebanon war.
Jerusalem — The summer of 1967 in Israel is recalled universally as a time of euphoria and romance for a country in the afterglow of a stunning military victory.
But for Yossi Klein Halevi, at the time a 14-year-old Orthodox kid from New York visiting his relatives for the first time, the war also inspired him and a cousin to mark the Ninth of Av fast by eating a falafel.
Kibbutz Ga’ash, Israel — Its paint peeling and windows boarded up, the original cafeteria on this kibbutz looks like an abandoned shack. Nearby, the first chicken coop has been converted into seedy artist studios.
Jerusalem — On Sunday morning Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said it was on. Sometime overnight into Monday, Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski put it on hold. Tuesday, the Antiquities Authority said it was off. And then, the Housing Ministry insisted it was back on.
The construction of a bridge from the Western Wall Plaza to the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem and the start of a companion archeological dig left the government in a state of confusion as tensions smoldered in the contested Old City.
Tekoa, West Bank — For the people who live here, the Jewish settlement of Tekoa is something akin to paradise. Built atop a mountain in the starkly beautiful Judean Desert, its comfortable homes afford a breathtaking view of the camel-colored cliffs that extend in all directions. Here and there Arab villages, as well as the nearby settlement of El David, dot the parched mountainsides, adding a bit of color to the desert landscape.