This report has found that there are two main problems with the use of crowd control weapons in the West Bank. First, the wording of the open-fire and safety regulations is ambiguous, and in some cases the regulations cannot be properly followed. Second, when security forces in the field violate the regulations, even systematically, practically no action is taken to put an end to this wrongful conduct. Senior-ranking officers deny that violations of the open-fire regulations are the norm and classify injury to civilians from improper use of crowd control weapons as “exceptions to the rule”. Furthermore, even in the rare instances in which investigations into such incidents are conducted, most are closed without the perpetrators or their superiors being held accountable.
Crowd control weapons
A new B’Tselem report reveals the full inventory of crowd control weapons used by Israeli security forces in the West Bank. These weapons are meant to be non-lethal, enabling authorities to enforce the law without endangering human life. In fact, however, some of these weapons are dangerous and may be lethal if used improperly. Crowd control weapons have killed and injured demonstrators and people throwing stones. B’Tselem calls upon the Israeli security forces to prohibit the firing of live ammunition at demonstrators and stone-throwers, with the exception of instances of mortal danger; to restrict the use of rubber-coated metal bullets to instances of mortal danger, as a preliminary measure to firing live ammunition; and to ban completely the firing of tear-gas grenades directly at individuals.
Rubber-Coated Bullet – Cylinder