While I was photographing The Wall at Qalandia four young children came out of their nearby houses to see what I was doing. I agreed to take their photos and, despite the lack of a common language, we established a rapport. When it was time to leave I said my goodbyes and walked off. I hadn't gone far before a shower of stones came whizzing past. I thought I was their friend! Later, an acquaintance explained that stone-throwing amongst Palestinian kids is almost the national pastime, and if it is ever made into an olympic sport then Palestinians will be world champions. *
Which is all very amusing until you reflect that a number of kids have been shot dead while throwing stones at Israeli tanks and armoured personnel carriers, and that many young stone-throwers rot in Israeli jails at this very moment.
* I would like to add that, at the time, I thought: "Israeli soldiers and border police have fired rubber-coated steel bullets at me and missed (except once). So give it your best shot, kids." But no, I didn't. I was really pissed off.