Galilee Subdistrict police were unable Wednesday to confirm or dispel reports by civilians that the police who entered Peki'in Tuesday were not sufficiently armed with nonlethal weapons (NLWs), which are used for crowd dispersal when basic antiriot tactics fail.
Police had claimed that they had entered Peki'in in force because a previous arrest attempt had been met with stiff opposition, but witnesses on the scene said that although police believed they would be met with protesters, the officers were equipped with live rounds instead of rubber bullets or other, more advanced anti-crowd technology.
Instead, some witnesses claim, the police merely achieved parity with their adversaries - going one-to-one with irritant sprays, stun grenades and batons. Other police options, including water cannon, which have previously been deployed by police in other situations, were not observed at the scene.
The police do not list among their weapons capacities any later-generation NLWs, such as the controversial Taser used in the United States, adhesives that make protesters "sticky," or even the Scream - a device that emits sound pulses that cause intense discomfort and disorientation, allegedly deployed by the IDF during protests in the West Bank.
Nevertheless, as early as 2000, the Ministry of Public Security announced that it had compiled a "state-of-the-art survey of non-lethal weapons in use or under development in the international scene for law enforcement personnel."
That survey listed a number of solutions, including "tranquilizer guns and round bean bags with drag-stabilization tail," as well as "improved devices for administering electric shock."