Providence Journal columnist Mark Patinkin traveled to Israel and Gaza. Here are his daily dispatches

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Providence Journal

Providence Journal columnist Mark Patinkin flew to Israel to see the war, its impact and the effects on the war-torn nations. His daily dispatches provided an unparalleled, first-person look at the conflict.

While there he visited the holy sites of Jerusalem, walked the streets of the West Bank, spoke with survivors of the Nova Music Festival, toured Kibbutz Be'eri (worst hit community of the Oct. 7 attack), discovered the hardships of life in Gaza during Israeli attacks and finally visited Gaza with the Israel Defense Forces.

His trip culminated with a ray of hope on the last day as he visited the for Jewish and Muslim children. There, he discovers the school's mission: tikkun olam. It means repairing the world. Indeed, many parts of this region are broken, but not this school.

澳门6合开奖结果:He's written many columns about Israel. Now Mark Patinkin is going there to tell its stories

During first days in Israel, Mark Patinkin finds beauty clouded by war

We land in Ben Gurion Airport,聽day one of a trip to experience the Holy Land at war聽鈥 day 100 since Oct. 7 鈥 except all feels quite ordinary. And then you see them.

An endless row as you walk toward baggage 鈥 more than 200聽kidnap posters, a thing universal here, except these are a bit different, dozens having either yellow or black slashes with Hebrew lettering.

That first day includes a walk to 聽that still has bullet scars from the war of 1948. Past the Fortress of David, down the long, narrow pathway through the Christian quarter near the聽, where Jesus died and rose. Finally, we emerge in sight of the majestic聽itself, with scores of Orthodox Jews praying at it.

澳门6合开奖结果:The story of Evyatar, the young soldier in Gaza, and his father

Traveling along the West Bank shows the price paid during conflict

We are聽heading north out of Jerusalem, past towns carved impossibly into harsh limestone hills.聽The scenery is stunning but the land difficult, so much so that you wonder why tribes have fought over it since the Bible was born here.

An hour-plus into our bus journey north, we come across a long concrete wall, clearly a security structure. Our guide, tells us we鈥檙e looking at聽, which explains things, too.聽

Much of the world has condemned Israel for this war 鈥 as terrible as Oct. 7 was, the response in Gaza is said to be too much. But studying a map as we journey, I see us pass a point that explains the obsession here with security 鈥 some might say neurosis.

We are at the country鈥檚 narrowest neck 鈥 an absurd 9 miles wide. Forget the river to the sea. An enemy with the kind of fast vehicles Hamas employed could make it from border to sea in 15 minutes, cutting a nation in half.

澳门6合开奖结果:Traveling along the West Bank shows the price paid during conflict

聽Finding courage at the site of the Nova Music Festival

Two hours from Jerusalem, 聽I am heading into the Gaza envelope, the swath of towns where it happened. There are two things I want to see this day. First, the site of the聽Nova music festival, where an astonishing 364 people were slaughtered. Then, Kibbutz Be鈥檈ri, the worst hit of such communities with 100 butchered.

Mark Patinkin visits the Nova Festival memorial site.

We drive a few hundred yards forward and finally are at the heart of the site. It鈥檚 marked with an array of posters of the lost on metal posts driven into the hardpacked dirt of a former parking area. The faces on the signs are strikingly attractive, this having happened in their prime. Dozens of visitors walk among them.聽

澳门6合开奖结果:Finding courage at the site of the Nova music festival

In Hostage Square, they gather and hope for loved ones' return

The image to me is a symbol聽聽鈥 a young woman named Naama Levy dragged by Hamas men into a car, bleeding between her legs, with her hands zip-tied and her ankles slashed.

It鈥檚 why I reached out to speak with her mother, Ayelet, and at first she said yes, hoping each bit of publicity could help. But as the day approached, she apologized; she was emotionally spent and needed time apart.

It happened again with three other聽families of the kidnapped. I at first got a yes, but, shortly before, they couldn鈥檛 do it. The toll of 100 days had drained them.

And so I went to Hostage Square.

Hostage Square:Where they gather and hope for loved ones' return

Getting a tour of paralyzed Brown student's hometown

I鈥檓 on the bus to聽, a hub of the West Bank, and as far as I can tell, I鈥檓 the only non-Palestinian among 40 or so aboard.

It鈥檚 8 miles from Jerusalem but the trip takes more than an hour, with a checkpoint halfway and all roads but one closed to a metro area of almost 300,000.

That is life on the West Bank.

I鈥檝e come here to see聽Hisham Awartani鈥檚 world. You no doubt have read about Hisham. He grew up in Ramallah and was one of three Palestinian college students shot in Burlington, Vermont, for the crime of speaking Arabic and wearing black and white keffiyehs. He's also聽a junior at Brown University.

In the West Bank:Getting a tour of paralyzed Brown student's hometown and a feel for Palestinian culture

Making a connection with the people living in Gaza as war rages on

It is perhaps聽聽鈥 hearing what Gaza is like from the people inside it.

International journalists aren鈥檛 getting in. The best route would be with humanitarian groups, but they鈥檙e unable to bring us. The only option is remote so I began to gather phone numbers.

Mark Patinkin, center, and other journalists in an IDF Humvee driving through Gaza.

I kept making calls for days and at last managed to connect live with someone inside Gaza. He was a likely candidate to be reached, since his job is to be available. His name is Hisham Mhanna, a young communications guy for the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Lives destroyed:Making a connection with the people living in Gaza as war rages on

Faces of the dead a haunting presence at Kibbutz Be'eri

The first thing you see as you enter聽Kibbutz Be鈥檈ri聽are the burned homes, but soon you notice something more unsettling.

Hamas wasn鈥檛 satisfied to just set fire. What wasn鈥檛 burned was smashed, leaving hardscaped patios in jagged pieces. They did to the houses what they did to the people 鈥 first they murdered, then they mutilated.

It鈥檚 one reason many of us have come. As with all of history鈥檚 massacres, there is only one thing you can do for the dead, and that is to bear witness.

Read and bear witness:Faces of the dead a haunting presence at Kibbutz Be'eri

Trip to Bethlehem reveals Palestinian warmth amid loss

There is a tendency to think of Bethlehem as part of Israel 鈥 some picture it near the Western Wall, but it鈥檚 not like that. It鈥檚 beyond the border, an all-Palestinian town with three refugee camps, and Jewish settlements encroaching.

To get there, you take a cab out of Jerusalem for a half-hour, then walk through a dark boundary tunnel.

The moment I emerge, I鈥檓 surrounded by Palestinian cab drivers. They wonder why I鈥檓 here 鈥 tourists haven鈥檛 come to Bethlehem聽.

An American journalist, I tell them.

At that, they want to talk. Why, asks one, is my government funding bombs killing babies in Gaza?

Its DNA is tolerance:Trip to Bethlehem reveals Palestinian warmth amid loss

In a Tel Aviv hospital, Mark Patinkin learns the stories behind the scars

When the weather is good, it's hard to count the wounded soldiers who flood Tel Aviv鈥檚 Sheba Medical Center's patio. They gather in wheelchairs, limping with crutches and wrapped in bandages. Almost every day helicopters bring more.

When I first walked down the busy corridor to the patio, something was off that I couldn鈥檛 put a finger on. Then I realized it. It鈥檚 not natural to see so many young men in their prime in a hospital. Here are their stories.

'It shocks you':Tel Aviv鈥檚 Sheba Medical Center displays the sacrifices of war

Headed for the front lines: Patinkin gets clearance to ride with IDF into Gaza

For the first day and a half, I was here with a Rhode Island mission, but the two weeks since have been on my own.

Some of those nights have been lonely, in part because I was sending back live dispatches every day.

But now, with only days left here, a WhatsApp text has just arrived.

Mark Patinkin at the opening of an attack tunnel in Gaza near the Israeli border.

It鈥檚 from an IDF media contact.

A journalist鈥檚 trip into Gaza is on for the next morning, and I鈥檝e been granted a space. She gives me the location of a deployment spot to meet just outside the fence along the strip, two hours from Jerusalem.

Overcoming long odds:Mark Patinkin chronicles his unprecedented trip to Israel, embedded with Gaza and IDF in sight

聽A post-apocalyptic scene as IDF embed travels through path of war

Among those gathered for the embed are correspondents with CBS and Fox 澳门6合开奖结果, as well as counterparts from other countries. Our guide asks us to turn off our phone locations 鈥 no one wants a surprise.

Suddenly, we turn left through a break in the fence.

Lt. Col. Anshi would soon tell us it鈥檚 one of the very openings blown apart by Hamas on their way in. You can鈥檛 help but note the irony that Israel is now using it.

At that, there鈥檚 an enormous boom 鈥 a helicopter-fired missile, he says. The front line, explains Anshi, is less than a mile away in dense Khan Yunis. An hour from now, I would hear a more unsettling sound of war.

鈥淲elcome to Gaza,鈥 says Anshi.

Inside Gaza:A post-apocalyptic scene as IDF embed travels through path of war

聽A glimpse of hope comes from the education of youth

As this聽journey to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza reaches its end, I鈥檝e learned a difficult truth.

The divide between Palestinian and Jew is perhaps as wide as it鈥檚 ever been.

Many Israelis who once were for peace doubt after Oct. 7 that they have a partner for it.

础苍诲听Palestinian anger over Gaza鈥檚 ruins聽has hardened hearts.

Which is why in this final column, I offer a glimpse of hope: a rare school where both Jewish and Arab children share space, and life, and 鈥 just maybe 鈥 sow seeds of more of that.

Ora Balha, right, co-founder of Orchard of Abraham's school, which has 55 employees and 220 students. With her, in hijab, is Amal Siksek, who has been a teacher at Orchard since it opened 16 years ago.

澳门6合开奖结果:Mark Patinkin in Israel: A glimpse of hope comes from the education of youth

Walk through Jerusalem reminder of why Arab and Jew hold onto it so

One last time聽before I leave Israel, I am drawn to the Old City, to feel its spirit and hear its voices during聽 and talk with the people of the city.

It鈥檚 where their prophets walked, their ancestors died, and today their brethren are dying yet again.

And you realize as you leave how much this explains.

After so much sacrifice, millennia of it, how do Arab and Jew let go of such a place?


澳门6合开奖结果:Mark Patinkin in Israel: Walk through Jerusalem reminder of why Arab and Jew hold onto it so

Mark聽Patinkin聽traveled to Israel personally and was not聽sponsored by or affiliated with any organization.聽He reported firsthand from the region as he has done for the last four decades through his award-winning journalism. He can be reached at聽mpatinki@providencejournal.com.