West Bank Spray Causing A Stink
Israel has unveiled its latest device to control protests on the West Bank and it is causing quite a stink, literally.
'Skunk' is a specially developed spray that drenches protesters with a foul-smelling liquid.
"It's very effective in preventing these demonstrations becoming lethal," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Sky News"We don't want youngsters, children or anyone to become hurt in a manner that is unnecessary."
For some reason, life as a foreign correspondent seems to expose you to more than your fair share of bad smells.Without question, Skunk is one of the worst I have had to endure.But it is not toxic. In fact it is organic. That is the clever bit.It means it can be used to drench protestors quite legally, say its Israeli makers.
"You can drink it if you want to. It's a very good protein drink," said David Ben Harosh, head of the Israeli police technological development department, and Skunk's inventor.
Needless to say, I did not.Is Skunk a safer method?
They know all about Skunk now in the West Bank town of Bilin.For months they have been protesting against Israel's security barrier. It carves up Palestinian land deep inside occupied territory, against international law.
Now they have something new to fear from protesting, having to go home smelling like a rotting carcass.
People in the village say it is next to impossible to remove the smell, completely, even after several showers.
Israeli border police point out their officers are regularly injured during clashes over the barrier and Skunk means they can avoid using rubber bullets, which have killed and injured Palestinians.
The Israelis say it will only be used when protests have turned violent, but Sky News has viewed footage of it being used during an apparently non-violent demonstration.
Palestinians say it is a degrading form of abuse and deliberately so.
"When they spray this thing on the people it make you feel unhuman," Palestinian cameraman and activist Emad Bornat said.
"It's a humiliation for the people. What's going on? The people here are not animals."