(photo credit: Reuters)
There was a marked increase in the use of Tasers by Israel Police in 2012 over
According to a report by the Knesset’s Science and Research
Committee, which was compiled in May but released last week, there were 472
instances in which police used a Taser in 2012, over 385 in 2011.
report says that when factoring in an additional 109 incidents involving the
Border Police, Special Patrol Unit (Yasam) and police detective units, the
number climbs to 581.
The most dramatic increase was in the Tel Aviv
District, where there were 173 incidents in 2012 over 115 a year
The report does not include figures for 2010, the first year that
the Taser went into widespread service with Israel Police, and does not specify
the ethnic, religious, or national background of the people who were
The figures are compiled from the memory cards in the Tasers, the
The report also quotes an attorney from the Justice
Ministry’s unit for investigating police as saying that since 2010 they have
seen a large number of citizen complaints about the use of Tasers, but that most
of those incidents fell within the guidelines for using Tasers, or diverged only
slightly from the rules.
The committee rules that despite the large
number of civilian complaints about the use of Tasers, there is still not enough
solid research to determine that there are health drawbacks from being
The report states that while such questions are still disputed and
a direct connection hasn’t been proven between the use of Tasers and fatalities,
there is evidence that the use of Tasers increases the chance of serious injury
and death in certain people, including drug addicts or people with heart
The Israel Police use the M- 26 model Taser manufactured by the
American company Taser International, which shoots two metal darts that pierce
the skin of the target and emit a pulse of 5,000 volts.
Justice Ministry is weighing an indictment against a Tel Aviv officer for
Taser-gun use. In mid-August, police use of Tasers came under the spotlight
after a highly-publicized arrest of settler Boaz Albert, who was filmed being
tased repeatedly by Yasam officers who came to his house to arrest him for
violating a restraining order.
The incident led Israel Police Insp.-Gen.
Yohanan Danino to suspend the use of Taser guns by police pending the results of
the investigation into Albert’s arrest.