Israeli troops fired lethal teargas grenades at Palestinians

Israel's army admitted on Thursday it had fired potentially lethal teargas grenades at Palestinian protesters.

 Israeli troops fired lethal teargas grenades at Palestinians

Israel's army admitted on Thursday it had fired potentially lethal teargas grenades at Palestinian protesters.

Their use was brought to light originally by a rights group which said in its findings that some units in the West Bank had fired the grenades during pro-Palestinian demonstration.

The group, B'Tselem, said it had documented three incidents in November in which dozens of extended-range teargas grenades were fired at demonstrators in the West Bank village of Nabi Salah.

A video filmed by B'Tselem on Nov. 12 and obtained by Reuters showed a smoking canister on the ground with the words "long range" printed on it in Hebrew.

Heavier than an ordinary teargas canister, the extended range round has a strong propellant jet and is almost impossible to detect in flight, making it "extremely dangerous," said Sarit Michaeli, B'Tselem spokeswoman.

What makes them doubly dangerous is the army's practice of firing teargas canisters directly at protesters instead of lobbing them into the air above the action, Michaeli said.

Teargas is used frequently by the army druing anti-wall protests in West Bank.

The Israeli Military Judge-Advocate General in July ordered a probe into the death of Basem Abu Rahmeh, who was hit in the chest by a teargas canister that Israeli troops fired during a protest in April 2009 in the West Bank village of Bilin.

The army said it was aware of the situation.

"After investigation, it appears that the soldiers in question used long-range tear gas canisters to disperse a riot, in contradiction with existing IDF regulations," the army spokesman said in a statement.

A forensic report issued by B'Tselem said the canister which hit Abu Rahmeh in the chest was an extended-range round.


Agencies

Last Mod: 09 Aralık 2010, 17:22
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