As a result of Palestinian injuries sustained during protest dispersals in the West Bank, IDF forces have been practicing the rules of engagement. A senior Central Command officer told Ynet that this is in preparation of "a month of unrest and contending with wide-ranging escalation."
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The crowd-control measures used during recent days are intended to lessen casualties throughout the potential agitation liable to hit the entire area.
In light of the Palestinian bid at the UN, in what was entitled Operation Summer Seeds, the IDF has upgraded its non-lethal dispersal methods and procured equipment worth NIS 100 million (about $27 million) to that effect.
Central Command prepares for escalation (Photo: IDF)
Ynet has obtained a list of the IDF crowd-control measures used as a matter of routine in the West Bank, according to operational needs and threat level:
Flash and tear gas grenades: The former causing immense pandemonium and alarm and the latter causing long-term eye-burning, feelings of suffocation and nausea.
Tear gas fired (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Next in line are rubber bullets, which can sometimes cause serious injuries or death. Those are followed by putrid-smelling "Skunks" and ear-shattering "Screams," which releases high-pitched shrills.
In cases where a protester is clearly trying to harm the troops, they are authorized to use Ruger 22 bullets to neutralize the threat. Fire is performed by an IDF sniper, the order must be given by the force's commander and the fire is aimed only at the lower extremities.
"Skunk" truck (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
The military is also considering acquiring "sponge bullets," which are effective in short-to-mid range and are considered safer than rubber bullets.
Other crowd-control measures that the IDF is mulling include paintball bullets.
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