Brigadier-General Michael Edelstein, the officer crafting Israel’s counter-demonstration doctrines, said troops were now better equipped and trained to police the occupied West Bank and the boundaries with Gaza, Lebanon and Syria.
“The balance has changed. We have more means that we can use, therefore the use of lethal weapons will decrease,” he told foreign reporters in a briefing.
He said there was no plan to reinforce military garrisons, which had been practicing non-lethal riot control techniques.
Israel has also invested heavily in riot-dispersal gear including accurate tear-gas launchers, high-powered loudspeakers that emit an intolerable buzzing noise, and cannons for dousing crowds with water or a foul-smelling liquid known as “skunk.”
The objective, Edelstein said, was “to be able to handle riots while diminishing casualties on both sides.”
Asked if this meant that Israeli forces, accused in the past of shoot-on-sight policies against Palestinians, would now show more tolerance, he said: “Much more tolerance.”