Israel Develops 'Skunk Bomb' for Riot Control Situations

Israeli researchers at Rafael Armament Development Authority Ltd. have invented a non-lethal "skunk bomb" that could be used by security forces in riot control situations, Britain's Independent newspaper reported Saturday.

Rafael scientists analyzed and created a synthetic version of the liquid squirted by skunks when they are under stress. The device, designed to be fired from a distance in order to disperse crowds, has a disgusting smell that lingers in its victim's clothing for up to five years.

Following a January 2004 incident in which Israeli demonstrator Gil Na'amati was shot by soldiers during an anti-separation barrier protest near the West Bank village of Maskha, the Israel Defense Forces considered changing its open-fire orders and troops were to be instructed on the use of crowd dispersal equipment.

The military was to instruct troops to first use tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets prior to performing the rules of engagement for arresting a suspect: a shouted warning, a warning shot in the air, and a shot at the lower limbs.