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Eddie Mair | 12:03 UK time, Tuesday, 17 June 2008

has travelled from Damascus to Israel, via Jordan and the West Bank. Here are his words and pictures reflecting the sights and people (and cat) that he saw on the way:

"Pontiac in a back street in Damascus.

Syria departure hall at the Jordan border. Very quick, efficient and friendly.

Family on the move at the border.

Coffee, very good Arabic coffee, on the Jordanian side.

In Irbid, on the way down to the Jordan Valley to cross into Israel. The farm lorry is laden with coriander. Or is it parsley? I contemplated jumping out to taste it, but the lights changed.

Bus driver Issam, who came to my rescue when my Syrian taxi was turned back at a Jordanian army checkpoint on the way down into the valley. No Syrian licence plates are allowed down near the border

Waiting for the bus at the northern 'Sheikh Hussein' crossing near the Galilee (not the famlous Allenby Bridge).

Palestinian family about to board the bus to cross the border.

Fadiya, who befriended me on the bus, and took me by the hand when we got off.

The bridge across the Jordan is about twenty metres long. Total journey time: 5 minutes.

Israeli fences and security road, along the border between the occupied West Bank and Jordan. Many Israelis are adamant that the Jordan valley section of the West Bank will always be occupied. Palestinians say this is totally unacceptable - because it will mean they will be 'surrounded' by Israeli-controlled land.

Jerusalem at last. 8 hours on the road from Damascus. Time for a sleep.

Beautiful coffee at cafe Erez Lechem."

And there's more from Hugh in Israel in tomorrow's PM.


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