June 3, 2023•680 words
So we're having a ridiculous heatwave again. I'm turning every rock to find water on my bike ride today. Abandoned buildings, closed gas stations, border crossings. I'm mostly successful. I have a good idea of where to find water all over the place.
On the route, I'm taking to Jerusalem the only place I know where there's water is in a playground in the city of Modi'in, which is roughly 37 kilometers from Jerusalem. I pull up to the playground and drink about four bottles of water as I appreciate how clean this city is.
Between Modi'in and Jerusalem, there's a gas station where there have been many lethal stabbings to complement our wonderful Middle East Conflict. There hasn't been one for a while, but it's still a not so pleasant place.
As I reach the gas station, I scan the area from a distance for a water tap. I decide there's no water tap, and I avoid entering the gas station, but I'm so thirsty that I pull over in the shade to recover.
Looking at the road next to me, I see this large kitchen knife. I look once, I look twice. I look at the gas station. I look at the blade. Holy shit, this is not a coincidence. I pull out my phone and call the police.
A friendly policewoman answers the phone, and I tell her where I am and what I see, and she's equally concerned, which is reassuring. She sends me a link to my phone, which gives the police my exact location when I click it. She then sends me another link to fill out the report and upload a picture of the knife. She wishes me a good day and says the dispatched unit will call me.
Two minutes later I get a call "Hey Amichai, it's officer blah blah. I'll be there in 12 minutes."
I decide to wait not wanting someone to take the knife and because I still need to recover. About ten minutes later, an armored police jeep pulls over, and two cops jump out. Within minutes a bunch of soldiers arrive.
The senior police officer looks at the knife and looks at his partner "Do you see this? It's exactly the type of knife that they keep using." His partner nods. Both looking relieved, they look over to me. The senior police officer says, "Can I get you something?"
To which I shake my head, but he insists, "How about cold water? I know you athletes enjoy your cold water!"
"Yes, I do need water." Relieved, having forgotten how thirsty I am.
He pulls out his backpack and fills up my water bottles with ice-cold water. Then asks me how I can ride in this heat, sharing that he can hardly drive his jeep in this heat. Finally, he takes down my details and wishes me a good day.
I ride off as he shows the knife - that is now in a plastic evidence bag - to the soldiers with a disappointed look on his face.
For the next 30 minutes, I receive call after call from different military officers "Where was the knife?", "Did you see anyone?" "What can you tell me about the knife?" and I soon realize that the police is giving the IDF heat for not spotting the knife. "Are you sure it wasn't hidden in a bag between the trees?" pleads a young female army officer.
"It was on the shoulder as if gently placed there, waiting to be picked up." She accepts my answer but is clearly disappointed as she wishes me a "Shabbat Shalom."
Someone fucked up. Maybe the terrorist. Likely the IDF this time. But honestly, I only saw it because I was dehydrated and wasted and had to stop right next to the knife. Who else would be on a bike out in this heat anyway? But when I shared this with the police officer earlier, his eyes lit up as he raised his index finger and said authoritatively,
"We are always part of a plan."