Monthly Archives: December 2012

West Bank Close Encounter

One good thing about standing guard in the West Bank, is great views of the sunset.

I recently got back from the West Bank doing a three day adventure. There is a lot to tell, even more photos and videos to show. I’ll just give a bit of an experience/close encounter I had. It really only hit me after the fact as to what could have happened.

It was a dark, but not so stormy night, in the middle of nowhere. That’s the way the roads in the West Bank are. Long stretches of poorly lit roadway that wind around the hills and mountains. I’m sure you can imagine how hard it is to drive along the winding roads while talking on the phone, so the driver of the vehicle I was in, who was doing just that pulled over onto the shoulder in order to talk safely.

–Before I continue, I should probably note that there are two kinds of civilian vehicles within the West Bank, those with yellow license plates, and those with green plates. Yellow are either Jewish or from Israel Proper (in front of the green line), while green indicates Palestinian vehicles from within the West Bank. In addition, I should also say that anything about common courtesy of helping others who look stuck on the side of a road go down the drain in these areas in cases where they don’t have the same plate color as you, and when another plate does stop, you can comfortably bet that it’s not done with the intention of wishing you a good day.–

Random vehicle checkpoints checking green plated vehicles are common in the West Bank

Random vehicle checkpoints are common in the West Bank

While all this was happening, I was sitting right next to the driver, so I saw the entire thing from the front row seats (no pun intended).

A few minutes after the driver pulled over to talk safely, a (green plated) vehicle slowly passed by eyeing our vehicle and the occupants within, and pulled in front almost blocking us from moving forward. The driver in my vehicle realized the potential of the situation before I did and threw down the phone in mid conversation, put the car in gear and sped off as fast as he could. After we passed the other vehicle, I noticed it following very close behind ours, and at a relativity high speed for that distance.
A few meters down the road however, there was a vehicle checkpoint, and being who we were, we passed right threw without batting an eyelash, and the last I saw of the other vehicle was their headlights getting smaller in the distance, and that was that.

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