The police appear to have been using new riot control weapons for more than six months without training their officers to operate them and without issuing regulations for their use, according to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.
The advocacy group is urging Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to investigate the matter urgently.
Regulations governing the use of black foam-tipped bullets, also known as Model 4557, appear to have been written about a month ago, even though police have been gradually introducing the new riot control ammunition for about a year, as Haaretz reported in September.
The black bullets are heavier and cause more serious bodily harm than blue ones the police had used previously.
Police are thought to have used black foam-tipped bullets when they shot Mohammed Sunuqrut of Jerusalem’s Wadi Joz neighborhood in the head in late August. In response to requests from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the police sent the group a document dated January 1 that spells out regulations for operating a “40-mm. foam gun.”
“Apparently the police have been using a new weapon with a higher potential for injury and killing, before drafting the required procedures regulating its use and the minimum permitted ranges,” Sucio said in a letter to Weinstein. “According to the date on the instructions for use, they were written only about six months after the new weapon was put into use and after many people had already been injured from it. If that is the case, the police conduct is evidently reprehensible and illegal.”
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