Proven Effective: Crowd Control Weapons in the Occupied Palestinian TerritoriesMay 2014
Through three types of “non-lethal” crowd control weapons as case studies, the following report highlights the harmful consequences of such weapons, including their potentially lethal effects. Additionally the report addresses how the occupied Palestinian territories are being used as a lab for testing new weapons for civil oppression on humans, in order to label them as “proven effective” for marketing abroad.
The following report highlights three local and international companies that manufacture “non-lethal” crowd control weapons. These weapons are currently being used by Israeli authorities and security forces, mainly to suppress non-violent demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, in violation of the right to freedom of expression and association. Despite the fact that they are often labeled as “non-lethal” weapons, they have already been proven as potentially lethal in different incidents around the world, when the use of these weapons resulted in the death of demonstrators.
The report focuses on three types of weapons as case studies: tear gas canisters, produced and marketed by Combined Systems (CSI) and M.R. Hunter; "the Scream", manufactured by Electro-Optics Research & Development (EORD) and Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD); and "the Skunk", manufactured by Odortec, with the supporting companies: MAN Group and Beit Alpha Technologies (B.A.T). The report highlights the harmful consequences of these weapons, including their potentially lethal effects. The occupied Palestinian territories are being used as a lab for testing new weapons for civil oppression on humans, in order to label them as “proven effective” for marketing abroad.
In each case study, the report provides information about the companies involved and about the practical consequences of using their weapons. These consequences have ranged from property damage and minor injury to multiple deaths of unarmed protestors, such as Jawaher Abu Rahmah from Bil’in and Mustafa Tamimi from Nabi Saleh, who were allegedly killed as a result of various uses of CSI tear gas canisters by the Israeli army. The report describes the problematic ways in which these products are being used, such as the use of the Skunk as a means of "collective punishment" by spraying it into private houses and businesses.
In addition to the violation of human rights, crowd control weapons are a direct and violent tool for suppressing non-violent protest and constitute a means of controlling future civil uprisings around the world.