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Nels Swenson | all galleries >> Galleries >> Travel Stories > Tulkarm
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We winded down the off ramp around cement barriers that led to tanks and armored vehicles. A soldier warned us not to proceed without an armored car. He said that with our Israeli license plates there was a good chance the Palestinians would blow up the car. He told us the story of the captured Israeli taxi driver that caused a lock down of this entrance to the West Bank. I pointed out the highway on the map then explained our intent to pass by the hill of Megiddo. The soldier assured us that what was once a highway was replaced by a battleground. He made it clear that the only direction we would be going would be the way we came.

Another soldier came to the passenger side of the vehicle to question my camera. “Of course I haven't taken pictures of military vehicles.” I didn't care how many guns G.I. Israeli had draped over his camouflage. I wanted the picture of the Lebanese border. He wasn't getting my camera. Convinced there would be no Armageddon setting to drive by that day and definitely no Iraq, we turned around. So much for my trusty map; from then on I would assume dead end for any road that led to the double black line signifying the West Bank.

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