It's stormy, the wind is whipping through the trees, and scattered rain drops hit us in the face as we go down the muddy dirt road to Nasser's house. It's a few hundred yards from the couple of houses around the cemetery, which form the village of Juhor al-Dik, to his small house near the border. "Goodbye," shouted the driver who will pick us up from this remote area again, and with a look at the path we chose he added laughingly: "Insha Allah - God willing."
But even under these circumstances, and even in this weather you cannot help but noticing how beautiful this area must have been, and actually still is, in spite of everything. While almost every other place in Gaza is loud and overcrowded, here's open land and soothing silence. There are a few olive trees that have survived the uncountable tank invasions, and a few new minor ones planted bravely. In between there's the lush green grass from the winter rain. At least where it wasn't again plowed up by Israeli bulldozers. And just as we talk about how peaceful this place actually is, we become suddenly aware of this calm being deceptive. On the other side of the barbed wire border, a jeep of the Israeli military appears. He stops as he sees us. My two colleagues and I exchange anxious glances, and without a word we open our hair and begin to inconspicuously walk in front of our Palestinian translator. What kind of a world is that in which blonde hair is a lifesaver.