Nine years ago, in the course of my journalistic work in the northern Gaza Strip, my photographer, a Gaza resident, Majdi Arbid, was injured by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) fire. Arbid was transferred by ambulance in very grave condition to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba, where his life was saved. After several weeks, when his condition improved, I got authorization from the Israeli Civil Administration to give him a tour of Tel Aviv before he returned to his home in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood.
On the Ayalon Highway, the highway leading to the big city, he first laid eyes upon the tall buildings, Tel Aviv’s towers, the branching road system, the bridges, the lights, the life. It was all so different from Gaza, which seemed light years away to him. On the way, we passed the sites Hamas terrorists struck some years before: the Dizengoff commercial center, the Dolphinarium night club, Mike’s Place bar and others. When the astonishment faded from his face, he summarized it thus: "Hamas militants are living in a delusion; they are convinced that with a group of suicide bombers (shahids, meaning martyrs) they could overpower Israel."