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If Angela Lefevre wrote an essay on “What I did on my summer vacation,” it might be some tense reading. Most vacationers would not consider a sweep though the Middle Eastern hot spot known as the West Bank as restful

By Mike Cosentino
Larson Newspapers
________________

If Angela Lefevre wrote an essay on “What I did on my summer vacation,” it might be some tense reading.

Most vacationers would not consider a sweep though the Middle Eastern hot spot known as the West Bank as restful.

And if that doesn’t get your adrenaline going, she spent a day on the Lebanese border also.

Lefevre, who returned to Sedona last week after three weeks in Israel, took part in a Machsom Watch activity while in Israel.

Machsom Watch is an Israeli women’s peace movement that consists of a group of women whose primary intent is to monitor Israeli checkpoints. The West Bank is full of them.

“Imagine going from Sedona to Cottonwood for work or to Flagstaff for school and having to stop at four or five checkpoints. That is what it is like over there,” Lefevre said.

The Palestinians are traveling for the same reasons, for work and school, Lefevre said.

“Normal life is very hard over there,” she said.

Citing information written by Daniela Mansbach, a Machsom Watch member and guide to Lefevre, the women’s movement is tolerated by the soldiers because they are “carrying out what seems to be feminine roles, that is, taking care of people. We are doing what women traditionally do and this is difficult to condemn, even for an army.”

Put simply, the women travel to checkpoints and keep an eye on the activity of the soldiers and help where they can or are allowed to, Lefevre said.

Her sweep through the West Bank saw her enter at Tulkarm, a Palestinian city on the western border between the West Bank and Israel, travel to several checkpoints where she took photos and she exited at Qalqilyah, further south.

The armed guards asked her not to take pictures at every checkpoint and she proceeded to snap them while their attentions were elsewhere.

Lefevre traveled with her husband, Paul, primarily for family reasons. Her niece was getting married and her only sister lives there.

Her day on the border between Lebanon and Israel took her to the area where the war between Israeli soldiers and Hezbollah began July 12, 2006.

Hezbollah is a Shiite Islamic political organization and is on the U.S. State Department’s list of terrorist organizations.


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