This piece originally appeared in Tablet.
Faced with an army roadblock on Route 232, the highway that runs roughly parallel to the Gaza border, our driver, Tomer, makes a sharp left onto a side road.
“Let’s see if we can get into the kibbutz,” he says, pointing the car at the gate of Mefalsim ahead of us, driving a bit too fast.
Drawing close to the gate, half a dozen M4s leveled themselves at us from behind shrink-wrapped pallets of concrete sacks being used as an improvised fortification. As with every kibbutz we’d visit that day, many of which had been attacked in what was now referred to as “Black Saturday” (literally, “Black Shabbat”), this one was heavily defended by an infantry platoon concealed behind a wall of building materials.