The neighbors

I live in a Jewish village that lies between two Arab villages – Zarzir and ‘Ilut, where there are a lot of illegal weapons. From a young age I’ve known the sound of shooting at weddings, and I’ve always thought of the sound of gunshots as a positive thing, a sign of celebration.

Some time ago we heard shooting from the direction of ‘Ilut followed by shouts and terrible cries… two people, young people, were killed in a fight between gangs.

I don’t know the kids in ‘Ilut but at the time I was youth coordinator for my village and hearing kids in primary school and high school talking about a murder they had heard and experienced at such proximity; there’s no doubt it left a scar in my heart (and theirs).



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