Ismail Ibrahim Abu Eida and I sat together near the rubble of what had once been his family home, sipping our freshly brewed cups of tea He seemed to take pleasure in poking at the wood fire under the tea pot, and refilling the cups of those sitting about him.
He sat in the dirt, while I balanced myself on a 3-and-a-half legged plastic chair that had been bought over for me. The mist that covered the citrus groves was now lifting as the day grew hotter, revealing the devastation that had once been the Jabaliya industrial zone.
He pointed towards the West and said "There is Israel." I could see a wire fence, and the silhouettes of soldiers walking along it. Israeli farmers had begun working their fields that morning as jeeps filled with soldiers raced back and forth along the border areas and snipers kept an eye on the few Palestinians who dared to return to their lands. Despite the cease fire, farmers were being shot and killed at random.
"I used to work in Israel," he mumbled after a few minutes "but that was a different time, a different world."