Yet another Palestinian has died at a checkpoint as Occupation Forces blocked his way to hospital. Muâafiq Younis Abed Rahimi was in critical condition when he arrived at Atara checkpoint, north of Ramallah. He bled to death as the ambulance was prevented from entering the city.
***image2***A 35 year-old father of five from Beit Rima, Muâafiq Rahimi was knocked unconscious when he fell from a construction site at his home. He suffered intensive bleeding in the brain. An ambulance was immediately called to rush him to the nearest hospital in Ramallah.
As it reached Atara checkpoint, the ambulance was met by the long traffic jam of cars that daily are forced by Occupation Forces to wait for hours on end to enter Ramallah from surrounding villages. The medical team â desperate to get to the hospital in time â by passed the line and drove towards the checkpoint.
The Occupation Forces shouted at the ambulance to get back in line, making it clear that they intended to punish them for trying to drive past the Palestinian cars queuing up â in an attempt to save Muâafiqâs life.
As Muâafiq Rahimi lay in the ambulance â his nose and mouth full of blood, and blood pouring over the ambulance interior â the Occupation Forces slowly checked the staff on board and every last piece of equipment. An eye-witness even reported that Muâafiq Rahimi himself was lifted up, prodded and examined by the soldiers at the checkpoint. The whole procedure took more than a quarter of an hour.
By the time the ambulance was finally ready to be waved through, Muâafiq Rahimi was already dead.
Every day, Palestinians are forced to undergo these terrible ritual procedures at more than 500 such checkpoints across the West Bank. The checkpoints are used to impede movement between the ghettos carved up by the Apartheid Wall, settler roads and the Occupationâs other Apartheid infrastructure. Every day the checkpoints bring humiliation, oppression, delay and abuse.
Sometimes – as in the case of Muâafiq Rahimi and others â the checkpoints also cost us our lives.