Ailing Schoolgirls

Ya Allah! Ya Allah! [O Lord! O Lord!]" The cries were from a 15-year-old schoolgirl named Amel Sharif, a patient at Amira Alia Hospital in Hebron in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Between her screams, Amel tried to explain what had happened to her four days earlier.

"I was in school and I smelled something," she said, "and then I felt something pressing on my chest." At that point she passed out and was taken to the hospital, along with 250 other schoolchildren from the area. Her ailment: a mysterious malady that in the...

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