Desmond Tutu stepped out of his armoured 4x4 and walked up to the Athamna family house in Beit Hanoun last week. Then the retired archbishop stopped and bowed his head in prayer for a minute. Before him was an alleyway that 18 months ago was filled with grieving relatives and neighbours and soaked in blood.
Above the crowd of thousands floated a red mattress, still wrapped in plastic. Underneath, holding aloft their new purchase, Kayad Shalafa and his brother Said were returning through the sand dunes of northern Egypt. They walked back over the trampled barbed wire, past the placid Egyptian soldiers and on to the blackened hole in the concrete border wall they had walked through that morning from Gaza.
This week, in a rare victory for the barrier's critics, Israel's Supreme Court ordered the government to reroute the barrier away from Bil'in in Palestine, which should eventually allow villagers to reclaim some of the large slice of their farmland that has been cut off from them for nearly three years.