RAMALLAH, WEST BANK — A chief Israeli military advisor announced plans to equip soldiers with a more potent tear gas after concluding a controlled field study in the West Bank village of Bil’in last week.
Four Israeli soldiers underwent intense teargas exposure during what appeared to be a routine assault on Palestinian youth during Bil’in’s weekly Friday protest.
An undisclosed number of tear gas canisters were ignited in the back of a specially-equipped combat truck before the soldiers safely escaped from the vehicle’s rear exit.
“That was the worst experience I have ever lived through,” said Cpl. Adi Shamir while receiving medical attention moments after exiting the fuming truck.
“Since we are trained to launch tear gas canisters into dense crowds of Palestinians where there is little to no ventilation, our goal was to see whether our chemicals were as effective as they need to be,” he added.
Data from the military-sponsored chemical study were analyzed over the weekend. The study’s findings were outlined during a Defense Ministry press briefing earlier today.
“Through this study we witnessed how potent our tear gas is,” quoted Raanan Cohen, spokesperson and senior advisor for Israel’s Central Command.
However, the military has chosen to reengineer the tear gas to better suit its purposes.
“After examining the physiological impact of the chemical on our soldiers, we have determined that a more potent version of the gas is needed to handle the Palestinian threat. These Palestinians are stubborn, especially the new generation of protesters. It is time we up the ante,” Cohen declared.
According to the analysis, the gas commonly used by Israeli soldiers and police officers in the occupied West Bank was only minimally successful at disrupting demonstrations or clearing homes in residential areas.
“We have been disappointed for quite some time at the low fatality rate,” Shamir stated.
Despite the chemical’s painful effect on the body’s eyes, nose, and throat, “Palestinians are still more than capable of breathing,” the report read.
Three of the four soldiers involved in the field study complained of burning sensations lasting longer than twenty-four hours. One soldier lost consciousness later in the day but was quickly revived.
Yet to the investigators and chemical engineers contracted by the Ministry of Defense, these side effects are not grave enough.
“We are currently in the process of developing a highly concentrated version of tear gas that we hope to supply soldiers with by mid-March,” said Cohen.
“We are proud of the tactical effectiveness of our weapons and we encourage our brave soldiers to use them on behalf of the State.”
It is unclear when exactly Israel began to use CS gas, a particularly intense form of tear gas. It has been linked to several deaths including the 2011 killing of Jawaher Abu Rahmah, a 36-year-old woman who died of gas inhalation in the same area as Friday’s field study.
Israeli human rights groups have regularly criticized the military for firing tear gas canisters directly into unarmed crowds of protesters.
This is a special report for The Daily Negotiator, your source for honest, groundbreaking, and somewhat satirical news coverage of Palestine-Israel.