Reports of New Form of Tear Gas used in Israel

Despite all the news focus on Gaza, things are still happening in the West Bank, where the construction of the security barrier proceeds apace.

An international activist reports that a new form of tear gas is being used by Israeli forces to disperse demonstrators and activists. The report says the following things: the new form of tear gas is fired faster and its ranger is longer. The cannister is heavy and black. The cannister doesn’t, like normal ones, start trailing gas as soon as it is fired (allowing people to see it coming and avoid it) but only starts emitting gas when it hits the ground – while it is flying it cannot be seen.

There is a suggestion that the gas is not the intended purpose, but a cover for an attempt to injure people by firing what are effectively very heavy bullets. Someone who was struck by a cannister had their leg broken – it could be fatal if it hit you in the head. It is much easier to get permission to use tear gas than to use live ammo, but potentially this form could have the same effect, i.e. shooting people dead.

Methods used by the Israeli state are likely, if judged successful, to be shared with other states. In light of recent events in Greece, European or other governments may soon start using these bone-breaking tear gas cannisters as well.

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