Operartion "Defensive Shield", Israel's largest armoured offensive since the 1967 invasion of Egypt, Syria and Jordan, was according to Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon "a battle for survival of the Jewish people". Israel's enemies had armed themselves with hand-me-down small arms, mostly Israeli M16s stolen from stockpiles by Israeli soldiers, and fertiliser bombs.

It was a struggle for survival during which ordinary Israelis found the time to play beach tennis, sunbathe, sing, dance, work out, kiss, sleep and walk the dog.

Haifa and Tel Aviv, April 2002

on the beach