I'm tired of the checkpoints around Jerusalem and the ones that keep popping up throughout the West Bank towns and Gaza, all manned by young Israelis. No, I'm not exhausted nor frustrated. I'm just tired of watching young Israeli boys, who stand or sit at these places, demanding to see each person's identification and then making a decision whether this person passes or is sent back. This is exactly what they do. No, they don't check a person's I.D. number in some sophisticated electronic program; they just look at the identity card and perhaps ask where the person is going and why. If I have a copy of my passport, not the real thing, one soldier tells me I should have the original with me. Another day another soldier tells me how smart I am not to carry the original. The more often one has to pass through the checkpoints, the more aware one becomes that these young fellows are not there for real security reasons; they have no checklist to see if this I.D. number belongs to a terrorist or a professor. They have no picture album to consult regarding "the most wanted". They are just playing games with people's lives and livelihood. Last week at checkpoints they played two deadly games that I know of. They played a deadly game with Furial Idries, who was travelling with her husband to the Nablus hospital to give birth. Furial, was refused passage at the Tayseer checkpoint, in spite of her pleas for help, her baby was born there at the checkpoint. Medical access was denied to her and the baby died. The Israeli soldiers played another deadly game with Muhammad Khalifa. He had a heart attack and was travelling from his village of Faqu'a to the hospital in Jenin. He was stopped at a checkpoint and forced to wait over an hour. Muhammed died waiting. There is more than one kind of violence and this violence doesn't involve bombs or guns, it takes place at the checkpoints. As of today, twenty Palestinians are checkpoint causalities; they have died at the checkpoints after being denied access to medical care or permission to travel to the hospital. Denied permission by Israeli boys who are playing deadly games of violence. At checkpoints is heard the sound of moaning of bitter weeping! Furial mourns her child, she refuses to be consoled because her child is no more. Mohammed's wife mourns for her husband her children refuse to be consoled because their father is no more. Rachel's weeping at Ramah, recorded in the book of Jeremiah, continues in the lives of countless Palestinian women who suffer violence in this land. Even the people of Bethlehem suffer violence, there, next to dear Rachel's tomb. Sr Mary is an Ursuline nun working in Jerusalem
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