The deafening explosion that tore through the testing ground of the Israel
Police’s Jerusalem headquarters this week sounded like it came from a mortar
Not only did the blast shake the area and vibrate through
stomachs, it also blew a hole through the clothes of a plastic doll representing
a child, and left a large black scar on the doll’s upper leg – a first-degree
burn, had the doll been a human being.RELATED:
Editorial: Purim’s message
The national Purim circuit
Police had gathered journalists to
witness the power of illegal firecrackers available to children across the
country ahead of Purim. The test-firing of some of the items showed that the
firecrackers were, in fact, nothing short of powerful
Pointing to a desk containing a sample of the “dangerous
toys,” Ch.-Supt. Marco Almalich of the police’s national bomb squad focused on a
collection of brightly colored pipes.
“These are actually cannons,
capable of firing firecrackers 30-40 meters away,” he said.
explosions are accompanied by a fire.”
He noted that “smugglers are
bringing these in in large quantities.
Some end up in children’s stores.
Others are sold out of the back of vehicles to children in residential
Police have been working year-round to raid the illegal
merchandise, using intelligence and informants to seize equipment and make
“A month ago, we raided a truck containing thousands of these,”
In recent years, youth have lost fingers, and in some
cases whole hands, to the explosive devices, which are deceptively marketed as
“We know of many cases where hands have been burned
severely, fingers blown away, and severe burns from these things exploding in
pockets,” Almalich said. “They are very powerful.”
Often enough, peaceful
afternoons or evenings in quiet neighborhoods are shattered by the sounds made
by the “toys” as they are set off by youths who are unaware of the
In fact, they pack such a punch that Palestinian rioters have
been known to deploy the cannon firecrackers during disturbances, targeting
“They can be used to create full-scale explosives, too,”
Almalich pointed out. “Children are unaware of the danger and power they can
cause. The trauma they have already caused is extensive.”
with the approach of Purim, police have advised parents to ensure their children
are armed with nothing more powerful than old-fashioned cap guns.