|March 29, 2000|
From an Israeli official: "A [Palestinian] detainee sent to Fara'a Prison will be freed in 18 days unless the authorities have enough evidence to charge him. He may then resume stoning soldiers. But if troops break his hand, he won't be able to throw stones for a month and a half."|
Conroy describes in disturbing detail the psychological torture inflicted on a Palestinian "suspect" by Israeli soldiers: A patrolling platoon came across a middle-aged Palestinian working in his orchard in Gaza. After establishing that the man was not involved in anything suspicious, one of the soldiers told him that he had been found guilty of terrorist activities, and then proceeded to stage a mock execution. "The soldier tied him to the tree and blindfolded him with a handkerchief.... The man's sobs racked his body.... He begged for his soul and his family, and screamed that he was innocent." Undeterred, the soldiers aimed their guns at him, counted one, two, three in Arabic, and pulled the trigger. But the chambers were empty. "We all burst out laughing," one of the soldiers recalls.
Book review by Nega Mezlekia in the Weekend Post Books, 25Mar2000, p. 10, of John Conroy, Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People: The Dynamics of Torture, Alfred A. Knopf.